GEK Partner Sherry E. Grant Receives Award of Excellence
"She has been a colleague, a mentor, a professor, a teacher, an advocate, a leader, a peace maker, a pro tem judge, a legal scholar…." This is but a snapshot of the professional life of Workers' Compensation attorney Sherry Grant as described by one of her partners, Adam Dombchik, in his introduction of her as the recipient of the 2nd Annual Marvin Shapiro Award for Excellence.
The award, named for the late Marvin Shapiro, a revered Workers' Compensation attorney, was presented by the Southern California Chapter of the California Applicants' Attorneys Association (CAAA).
Grant, a founding partner of Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein, LLP, explains that, "Receiving this award is an extraordinary honor because I and everyone in our community looked up to Marvin over the course of our careers. To be given the award of excellence in his name further inspires me to aim to be the best, to continue to be passionate, and to inspire others to be passionate as well."
It is that passion that has driven Grant, considered a woman pioneer in the Workers' Compensation community, to devote her career to representing injured workers. Not only was she one of the first women to join CAAA, a statewide organization that advocates for injured workers' rights, she also led a revolution of collaboration and sharing that is the backbone of the group. This is what Grant refers to as "community over competition."
She served as president of CAAA's Southern California chapter, served on countless committees, and headed the Education Committee.
While helping to lead the charge for justice on behalf of injured workers, Grant fought hard against the legislative "reforms" that could have wiped out the rights of those hurt at work. She, along with fellow CAAA members (including her own partners) did not back down when Senate Bill 899, under then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, codified the use of the American Medical Association (AMA) Guides to determine a worker's impairment.
"When these changes were thrust upon us, I knew how to fight back—it was, and still is—all about the medicine." With that thought in mind, Grant met regularly with members of the medical community, learning from them so that she could help her clients. She took to dictating bits of knowledge from one medical discussion after another…until she had enough to write the Pearls of the AMA Guides, a guideline to the AMA's reference book.
But she didn't stop there, updating her Pearls eight years later in conjunction with Adam Dombchik and the AMA Committee of CAAA…and in a revolutionary new format—an eBook. Grant dedicated this edition to Marvin Shapiro, "The Brightest Pearl of All."
"Throughout his career, Marvin epitomized what I had been taught long ago from an old defense attorney: 'Pay it forward. Treat all new attorneys with respect and leave everyone their dignity the same way I treated you.'"
Based on the introduction by her partner Adam Dombchik, Grant, the "colleague, mentor, teacher, advocate, leader, peace maker…" continues to pay it forward.