Mario F. Botkin

Mario F. Botkin
Riverside Office
California State University, San Bernardino - BS Political Science, International Studies
La Verne, University, School of Law
California State Bar
Joined BM&M in 2020

Spend two minutes with Mario Botkin and you'll know he's a people person. His humor is ubiquitous, and his stories reach well into the depth of his expertise and knowledge of the law.

"A story I often relate to when talking about the law is about the old Texas Bar exam," says Botkin. "Back in the day when Texas first became a state, applicants to the Texas State Bar were admitted after passing an oral bar exam with only three questions. The first pertained to the applicant's thorough knowledge of law. The second was "do you own a bible?" The third was "do you play poker?"

Botkin explains that the first question was to show that the applicant had studied and knew the essentials of the law; the second was to bring a sense of integrity and ethics into the law. The third was to establish that the applicant had the necessary skills to survive and win with the cards that were dealt.

"You could say I got some encouragement to purse a law career, and I didn't mind. My heroes growing up were Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, who were both lawyers. Jefferson was a man of the world and set about the exploration of the west. Lincoln was a man of the people and cared deeply about the fate of man. Both were inspirational to me. The law was beckoning, but I wanted to see a bit of the world and get a little experience before making the commitment."

Growing up in Southern California, Botkin joined the Air Force out of high school and was stationed in North Dakota.

"It was a big change from Southern California. I had to get used to the winters lasting up to nine months and temperatures that could reach 70 degrees below zero with wind chill. But, while the weather conditions were sometimes brutal, the people were salt-of-the-Earth always helping each other. I learned a lot about human interaction and how important it is to have people you can depend on."

Once out of the service, Botkin focused his efforts on raising his son and saving up for college.

"I had taken a lot of odd jobs back then--factories, orchards, just about anything to keep the lights on really. Looking back, those experiences help shape my future in Workers' Comp Defense."

He stayed focused, worked hard and after several years of community college he was accepted to Cal State University, San Bernardino. In college he continued to work hard through an accelerated program and graduated at the top of his class, after only a year, with a degree in political science and a minor in international studies. Botkin then attended La Verne University, School of Law, graduating in 2009.

"The Great Recession had just hit and it wasn't a great time to find a job. Few firms were hiring. I went ahead and hung out my shingle in general practice. It was tough, but I learned a lot. There is an old axiom that says if a new attorney does not appear in court in the first year of practice, he or she will never appear in court during their career."

Botkin participated in a trial just three months after passing the bar.

"I remember being nervous, but it was sink or swim. I certainly learned a lot very quickly, and we won the case. It definitely gave me a bit of confidence going forward."

And forward he went. A friend and fellow attorney recommended Workers' Comp as a solid career path and Botkin joined an applicant firm where he spent two years learning the intricacies of Workers' Comp law.

"Those years I spent working all the odd jobs gave me a great insight into on-the-job injuries. I had seen people get hurt on the job. I had experienced the give-and-take of the employer-employee relationship firsthand."

After two years on the applicant side of the aisle, Botkin switched to Workers' Comp Defense. Today, six years later, he is one of new young attorneys at the Riverside Office of Benthale, McKibbin and McKnight.

"This is a wonderful firm. I have experienced all sorts of management styles in and out of the practice of law. They have high standards here at Benthale, McKibbin, and McKnight, but they also demonstrate a supreme confidence in the attorneys that they hire. It gives an attorney the kind of confidence that can only drive you to excel."

Away from the office, Botkin enjoys traveling, reading, and going to the gym. He especially likes to travel with his son, an American history and art history major attending UCSC, to historic locations throughout the United States and beyond.