Weekly Issues

Best Law Firm: McCormick Barstow LLP

Runners up: Dowling Aaron Inc.,
Baker Manock & Jensen

Just by numbers, no law firm based in the San Joaquin Valley comes close to McCormick Barstow.
With 91 attorneys working in 20 practice areas, the firm, founded in 1951 by attorney Chester Hansen, is the region’s leader in business and commercial litigation.
Several other attorney groups are also involved in employment law, taxation and estate planning and insurance coverage, among its numerous specialties.
And while the firm has been a stepping-stone for many to start their own firms or accept judgeships, the reputation left in their wake hasn’t wavered.
McCormick Barstow has more Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated attorneys than any other law firm in the San Joaquin Valley and the second highest percentage of attorneys in the state inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Trial Advocates, compared to similar size firms.
Additionally, the publishers of Law and Politics Magazine and San Francisco Magazine routinely select McCormick Barstow attorneys for inclusion in the Northern California Super Lawyers list.
“We take great pride in learning and understanding clients’ objectives and work to achieve those objectives to get the clients the best possible results consistent with the requirements and structures of the legal system,” said partner Timothy Buchanan.
The firm, which has offices in Fresno, Modesto, Cincinnati, Denver, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Seattle, is also known for its volunteerism, having supported dozens of local and national organizations over the years.

— Gabriel Dillard

Best Happy Hour: Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Runners up: The Elbow Room, Daily Grill

Ruth’s Chris Steak House was named the top business in the “Best Happy Hour” category by readers. The national restaurant chain is owned by Ruth’s Hospitality Group and while the first location opened in 1965, the Fresno location has only been open in the River Park shopping center since August 2008.

Best Bar to Entertain Clients / Best Restaurant for Conducting Business: The Elbow Room

Bar runners up: Five Restaurant, Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Restaurant runners up: Daily Grill, Max’s Bistro

Sidle up to the bar at The Elbow Room and you are likely to see a who’s who of Fresno notables, including business owners, politicians and — when he still lived in town — Jerry Tarkanian.

Best Advertising Agency: JP Marketing

Runners up: Jeffrey Scott Agency, Catalyst Marketing

It was 20 years ago that Jane Olvera Quebe, an account manager at a small marketing firm, took on some faithful clients when the company folded and JP Marketing was formed.

Best Technology Company: BCT Consulting

Runners up: Bitwise Industries, J I.T. Outsource

In a way, BCT Consulting represents the long-term hope for a diversified economy.
BCT Consulting, founded in 1996, has grown into a nationally recognized technology company not from Silicon Valley, but the San Joaquin Valley. And while agriculture will always be the foundation of our economy, we can’t afford to miss the opportunities for growth in the tech sector.

Best Accounting Firm: Baker Peterson Franklin

Runners up: Moore Grider & Co., Dritsas Groom McCormick LLP

Despite being one of the largest accounting firms in the Central Valley, Baker Peterson Franklin is not too big to forget the contributions of its clients and community.

Best Credit Union: Educational Employees Credit Union

Runners up: Fresno County Federal Credit Union, GoldEN 1 Credit Union

Educational Employees Credit Union was founded 80 years ago as Fresno Teachers Credit Union, and was one of California’s first credit unions.
Today it is the Central Valley’s largest credit union, and the 14th largest in California with more than 228,000 members.

Best Property/ Casualty Insurance Company: DiBuduo & DeFendis

Runners up: Der Manouel Insurance Group, Burns & Whitaker Insurance

The bonds of lifelong friendships never really go away. The same was true for Anthony DiBuduo and Leonard DeFendis after forming insurance agency DiBuduo & DeFendis in 1960.

Best Engineering Firm: Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group

Runners up: Quad Knopf, Yamabe & Horn Engineering

Take a look at a stormwater canal or a wastewater treatment plant in the Central Valley, and there’s a good chance that Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group had a hand in it.

Best Architectural Firm: Darden Architects

Runners up: SIM Architects, TETER

It’s more than just quality design work that has made Darden Architects stand out in the Central Valley over the last half century.