Hodes Milman Ikuta, LLP is pleased to welcome Attorney Michelle Buxton Hemesath to the team. Michelle began her career representing healthcare providers and brings an intimate knowledge of how insurance companies handle lawsuits. Her practice now focuses on providing the best possible representation for injured victims and their families.

Learn about Michelle in our informal Q&A session:

What excites you the most about joining the Hodes Milman Ikuta team?

I am excited to join Hodes Milman Ikuta, where I will be provided with the opportunity to continue representing injured persons and their families, while also using my background as a medical malpractice defense attorney to obtain the best results for my clients. 

Why did you choose to become an attorney?

I have always been interested in helping people. While in high school, I considered becoming a psychologist and was a volunteer at Community Helpline, a listening, crisis, and referral hotline that provided counseling services for people in California. However, after taking legal courses at San Diego State University, I came to realize that I wanted to help people through zealous legal representation. 

As a law student at the University of San Diego, I participated in the Special Education clinic. As a law clerk in this clinic, I was provided with the opportunity to advocate for provision of services of students. This experience solidified my desire to fight for individuals. 

Is there any aspect of being a trial lawyer you particularly find interesting?

Juries are made up of twelve strangers. They sit together for days, weeks, and sometimes even months. During that time, they’re not allowed to discuss the case. They are expected to reserve judgment until the trial is completed. It is up to me, as a trial attorney, to engage these jurors while presenting my clients’ story and hopefully obtain a just result. 

What is your favorite piece of advice you’ve heard or been given?

“You can’t vomit and talk at the same time.”  

In March 2019, one month after joining my prior firm, I was asked to give an opening statement with only 16 hours to prepare. There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to be a trial attorney. But I had never given an opening statement and I had only heard two opening statements. I immediately called my mentor at the time and asked her for advice. 

The first thing she said to me was, “You can’t vomit and talk at the same time.”  She was right. I was nauseous and nervous giving my first opening statement but I did not vomit. I stood up, a little timid at first but with each passing moment, I grew more sure of myself. I spoke a little louder and with more conviction. 

What do you like to do in your free time?

In 2019 and 2020, I was a volunteer coach for Valley High School’s mock trial team. As a coach, I worked with the students to analyze the case materials, formulate legal arguments, develop questions for witnesses, and improve the students’ public speaking abilities. It was an extremely rewarding experience to expose the students to the legal system and hone their critical thinking skills.  

I am also the President Elect of Women Lawyers of Long Beach. In April 2021, I will be sworn in as the President. The organization provides a forum for attorneys, judges, legal professionals and law students. Over the past year, we hosted a beach clean up in Long Beach and held clothing drives for Gals Starting Over. The focus of our continuing legal education courses in 2020 were women’s rights, civil rights, and human rights in honor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

More About Michelle Buxton Hemesath

Michelle was raised on the West Coast in Torrance, California. She received her Bachelor of Arts in political science at San Diego State University. She received her juris doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law where she graduated in the top twenty percent of her class and received awards in Complex Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. 

Highly active in professional legal organizations, Michelle is the incoming President of the Women Lawyers of Long Beach (WLLB). She is also an active member of the:

  • Orange County Bar Association (OCBA)
  • Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (OCTLA)
  • Orange County Asian American Bar Association (OCAABA)
  • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA)

She is licensed to practice law in the State of California, United States District Court for the Central District of California and United States District Court for the Southern District of California. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys spending time with her family and doing yoga.   

At Hodes Milman Ikuta, we handle a wide range of injury cases spanning from medical malpractice to auto accidents and other complex practice areas. If you or a loved one have been injured, contact us at (949) 640-8222 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We are here to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to under the law. 

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When you work with us, you’ll see the difference. A lot of firms are quick to show you numbers, and it is absolutely true that your lawyer should have experience and a strong track record in the area that you require. However, we’ll take it one step further. We also believe that your attorney should put your needs, cares and desires first. Because you deserve more than just compensation for your losses - you deserve a true advocate.

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