Christine A. Elliott

Christine A. Elliott
Riverside Office
Education: Univeristy of California, Santa Barbara - University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
Member: California State Bar
Joined BM&M in 2016

Christine Elliott had a few interesting stops along the way, but it is clear that the law was always her final destination.

Christine became involved in politics at a young age, and that interest in politics and debate, and her passion for social justice led her to University of California, Santa Barbara, with a major in Political Science, Public Service. Soon after starting at UCSB, Christine became active the Santa Barbara political scene, getting involved in as a volunteer for a Congressional candidate in a series of elections that were necessitated by the passing of the much-loved local Congressman. Christine was involved in all of the campaigns for Lois Capps, who after four grueling elections won her first full term in Congress, filling the seat of her later husband. Christine also served as an Intern in Congresswoman Capps' Santa Barbara office, and served as President of a statewide student political organization for two years during college.

While still a student at UCSB, Christine started pursuing her pilot's license, working as a baggage handler and fueling airplanes at the local airport to pay for flight lessons. She spent many days flying up and down the Santa Barbara coastline.

"Flying was a great way to challenge myself but also have fun – and the view was unbeatable," she says. She applied to and was accepted into a program to become a Commercial Pilot after graduating from UCSB in 2001, but her flight career gave way to a career in politics.

After working on a few local campaigns in the Santa Barbara area after graduation, Christine was hired by Congresswoman Lois Capps as a full-time staff member. She worked assisting constituents with issues they were having with federal agencies, helping cities, counties and special districts work out federal permitting and funding issues, and attended press conferences and community events on behalf of Congresswoman Capps.

After Managing a successful re-election campaign for Lois Capps in 2006, Christine headed to the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, focusing on public service and administrative law. She was selected as a summer associate after her first year of law school to work at the California Department of Personnel Administration, working on labor and employment issues in state government, where she continued as a law clerk until graduation in 2010. It was there that Christine became interested in a practice focusing on administrative law.

After graduation, Christine received a fellowship through Pacific McGeorge, and she chose to work at Neighborhood Legal Services in El Monte, in the Workers' Rights unit, representing clients at hearings in from of the Labor Commissioner and at hearings for Unemployment benefits, as well as helping people learn to represent themselves.

The problem solving skills and ability to effectively communicate that she developed while working for Congresswoman Capps contributed significantly to Christine's success as an attorney. It was her exposure to administrative law, both during law school and while working on workers' rights issues, that led Christine to the field of Workers' Compensation.

"I always liked employment law and healthcare law, so Workers' Compensation feels like a tailor-made specialty for me."

Christine spent about 3 years in Workers' Compensation, on the Applicants' side, where she gained a significant amount of experience fairly quickly, and was promoted to Workers' Compensation Manager, which involved supervising attorneys and staff working on behalf of applicants. She describes joining a defense firm as the natural next step. Christine decided to move on and then began working with Workers' Compensation Defense firms as a contract attorney, conducting depositions and attending hearings. She then applied at Benthale, McKibbon and McKnight and after an interview with Edward Benthale, she was thrilled to start work in their Riverside office in August of 2016.

Christine was raised in Claremont by her father, a College Professor of Latin, English and Irish Studies, and her mother, the Executive Director of a local non-profit, both of whom encouraged her various interests, most of which revolved around politics and sports. She started playing soccer in first grade and continued to play through high school. Christine was a varsity swimmer throughout high school, and it is that focus and competitive mentality that continues to be useful in her work as an attorney.

Christine continues to love soccer, now more of an observer, she follows FC Barcelona and the LA Galaxy." She loves baseball (go Dodgers!) and hopes to be back to competitive ocean swimming soon. She volunteers with a local homeless advocacy group in Claremont, and is passionate about issues dealing with hunger and poverty, and from time to time she fosters kittens, which she describes as "only the cutest volunteer gig ever." Fostering kittens involves everything from bottle-feeding abandoned newborns to socializing young kittens to ready them for adoption.

She is very happy about her decision to work as a defense attorney, and credits great supervisors and co-workers with making it an easy transition.