For almost 30 years, Ms. Akins has practiced in the law, concentrating her practice in the areas complex securities litigation and arbitration, business, corporate, banking, franchise and bankruptcy litigation, financial elder abuse, employment litigation, including appeals before the Ninth Circuit and California Supreme and Appellate Courts. Ms. Akins represents her clients nationwide in both state and federal court, and in judicial arbitration, and private arbitration before FINRA, NYSE, AAA, and JAMS.
Prior to forming Leslie Schwaebe Akins, A.L.C. in 2006, Ms. Akins was a founding partner in Akins & Villavicencio, LLP (1999-2006), focusing in securities litigation. Previous to this, Ms. Akins was a partner at Duckor, Spradling and Metzger (1991-1999), a 30 + attorney firm located in San Diego, California. At the Duckor firm, Ms. Akins practiced in the areas of complex securities, business, employment, environmental, insurance bad faith, probate and trust litigation. Ms. Akins began her legal career in 1988 at the law firm of Monaghan & Metz, a small boutique trial litigation firm in San Diego, California which focused on litigating business disputes, employment (wrongful termination), insurance bad faith, and a variety of personal injury, wrongful death and property damage claims (including toxic tort) through trial and appeal. In 1990, Ms. Akins co-tried a toxic tort cased filed on behalf of the St. Vincent De Paul Center for the Homeless against California Linen Supply which, after a three week jury trial, resulted in a jury verdict of $15.9 million dollars- the tenth largest jury verdict in California that year.
Ms. Akins has recovered millions of dollars for her clients thru trial and judgment, arbitration award, and/or mediation. Ms. Akins' securities practice experience includes clearing firm disputes, defective structured products, unregistered promissory notes, alternative investments, private placements, syndicated real estate transactions (including tenants in common structured and limited partnerships), options trading, derivatives, margin violations, non-rated municipal bonds, violations of both federal and state securities blue sky laws, employee benefits plans, including IRS Section 412(i) and Section 79 Plans. Ms. Akins has also worked with the SEC, the California Department of Business Oversight, the California Departments of Real Estate and Insurance, the Los Angeles and San Diego District Attorneys, and other state and federal regulators on behalf of her clients. Ms. Akins' non-securities cases include environmental litigation, employment (wrongful termination), defamation, intellectual property, cyber squatting (Mattel), business litigation, franchise litigation, probate and trust litigation, post-marital dissolution, insurance bad faith (including disability claims, first and third party bad faith).
Ms. Akins' published decisions include Moss v. Kroner, 197 Cal. App. 4th 860, 129 C.R.3d 220 (2011), and In re Cery B. Perle 725 F.3d 1023 (9th Cir. 2013).
Ms. Akins received her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of California at San Diego (1983), and her law degree from the University of San Diego (1988).