Edward O. Lear

President and Chairman of the Board

Mr. Lear is a 1983 graduate, cum laude, of Dartmouth College and a 1987 graduate of U.C.L.A. School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review and the Moot Court Honors Program. Mr. Lear joined Thelen, Marrin, Johnson & Bridges immediately after law school and worked for four years as a “big law” litigation associate before becoming a Los Angeles-based State Bar prosecutor. For three years, Mr. Lear prosecuted California attorneys, never losing a trial, before co-founding Gerry & Lear LLP in 1994. In 2002, Mr. Lear founded Century Law Group LLP, now a seven-attorney litigation boutique firm.

Mr. Lear has tried over 300 cases. He is a recognized speaker at legal seminars, has published numerous articles, and has been qualified as an expert witness in state and federal courts. Mr. Lear has also served as an arbitrator for the Los Angeles County Bar Association since 2017.

Mr. Lear served as Commissioner for the City of Manhattan Beach from 2000 through 2008. From 2008 to 2010, Mr. Lear served as appointed Chairman of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District Bond Oversight Committee, supervising the expenditure and allocation of over $60 million of bond proceeds.

In 2014, Mr. Lear was inducted into the American Board of Trial Attorneys (“ABOTA”). Through ABOTA, Mr. Lear is a faculty member of the Jack Daniels Trial School, which teaches trial skills to less-experienced attorneys. He has been named a Super Lawyer eight years in a row (2017-2024). Mr. Lear is a past President of the Association of Discipline Defense Counsel (“ADDC”) and a former Chairman (appointed by the Trustees of the State Bar of California) of the Ad Hoc Commission on Discipline.

Steven C. Papkin 

Board of Directors

Mr. Papkin is an attorney practicing law in California since 2000 and New York since 1996. He is currently a partner of the law firm Pierson Ferdinand, LLP.

Mr. Papkin uses his experience in corporate, securities and intellectual property law to advise companies in a wide range of industries, including film & television, technology, marketing and apparel.  His clients have included some the largest and most-sophisticated companies in the world to start-up ventures and independent producers. His experience at top-notch international law firms gives him the ability to advise on not only day-to-day business matters but also to structure mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance arrangements, secured transactions, securities offerings and employee equity incentive plans. He can prepare documents for all types of business, commercial and investment relationships including LLC agreements, incorporation documents, credit documents, securities materials, talent agreements and intellectual property licenses.

Mr. Papkin has also advised on obtaining, protecting and licensing trademarks and copyrights.  His Publications include: Book Review; Morton Horowtz’s The Transformation of American Law 1870-1960:  The Crisis of Legal Orthodoxy, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Volume 16, Number 2, Spring 1993

Previous law firm experience includes; Fisher, Broyles, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP.

Mr. Papkin is a graduate of Harvard Law School, J.D., 1994; Harvard College, A.B., Magna Cum Laude, 1989.

Owen W. Murray

Advisory Board Member

Owen is a Retired Partner and was the Market Leader for the Forensic Services practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Los Angeles, California and in Tokyo from 2005 to 2009. Owen has a wide variety of international consulting experience and expertise, with a focus on forensic investigations, contract compliance and various disputes. In his role he had significant experience working with various C suite clients and Boards on high profile matters.
He was with PwC for 29 years, 11 of which have been in Los Angeles, 4 in Tokyo, and the remaining in San Diego and Philadelphia. Owen has served as an Arbitrator, a court appointed referee on accounting issues and has assisted in many disputes related to damages and accounting issues. He has testified in both United States Federal and State Court as an expert witness on a number of occasions. He has been a speaker, both inside and outside PwC, on many occasions, addressing forensic accounting, FCPA, and licensing issues.
He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the Marine Corps Reserves, where he served on Active Duty from 1985 to 1991 and in the reserves from 1991 to 2006 in various locations. He led PwC’s Veterans group for Southern California from 2009 to 2020.

Steven Sogard

Consultant, Tower 20 Group Inc.

Steven J. Sogard is founder of business consulting company, Tower 20 Group Inc., and has been a consultant to AFC since its conception. Mr. Sogard has over thirty-five years of experience in business and financial consulting services, including experience in oil and gas, litigation workout companies, marketing, and real estate. Tower 20 Group and Mr. Sogard assist the Board in negotiations, corporate structure, consulting, and shareholder relations. Mr. Sogard has served on the board of directors of several different enterprises. From 2006 through present, Mr. Sogard has been consultant through GlobalVest Corporation for companies including: Blackstone Oil & Gas, Pacifoco, Inc., and Silver Oak Managing Partners. Since 1997, Mr. Sogard has been a member of the Board of Directors of GlobalVest Corporation. From 1982-2007, Mr. Sogard was a Series 7, 63, and 27 registered representative in the Securities Industry, serving as an officer, director, and/or branch manager for various regional securities firms. In the 1990’s he was the founder of Glacier Realty Company, a Colorado-based real estate business that sold property and luxury condominiums located in Telluride, Colorado. Mr. Sogard has served on Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Boys and Girls Club since 2004 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Tufts University in 1981.

Dorothy L. Becerra

Chief Operations Officer

Ms. Becerra graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2002 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Global Studies and Sociology. She furthered her education by obtaining an ABA-approved Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2009. In 2023, she graduated with distinction from the University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management, earning a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Entrepreneurship.
With over two decades of experience, Ms. Becerra has excelled in driving profitable outcomes and delivering exceptional results in the consumer law space. Her leadership spans Operations, Settlement, and Accounts Receivable, fostering high-performing teams and partnerships. Renowned for her forward-thinking, she supports multiple startup businesses in technology and retail sectors, contributing to growth strategies and product development. As an investor and partner at Peace of Cake, a venture she nurtured during her academic tenure, she embodies entrepreneurial spirit.
Ms. Becerra’s blend of legal and business expertise positions her as a catalyst for operational excellence and strategic growth, as the Chief Operating Officer of Atticus Financial Corporation.

Downtown Los Angeles

Atticus Financial Corporation
5200 W. Century Boulevard, East Tower, Suite 345
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Downtown Dallas

Atticus Financial Corporation
Lake Highlands Tower, 9330 LBJ Freeway, Suite 900
Dallas, TX 75243

CONTACT US / 310.642.6907

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