"I always come back to the law," says multi-talented Case Manager Daniel Battifora. "It's all about helping people."
Mr. Battifora's professional journey is rich and textured, veering into an assortment of creative, entrepreneurial and managerial pursuits. But his empathy for people confronting difficulty and his belief that the law can help them keeps him returning to the legal realm.
Lucky for the Shouse Law Group, the former restaurateur and gourmet chef is now "back of house" as case manager. A college classmate of firm founder Neil Shouse at University of California Berkeley, Battifora performs client intake and litigation support.
He works on all types of felony and misdemeanor cases, from petty theft to armed robbery, but he specializes in cases involving substance abuse. Towards that end, he's developed a network of drug, alcohol and sex addiction treatment facilities for firm clients.
"We see people at their worst," he explains, "when their whole life has been shaken up. I know they try to muster up grace, but there is so much fear. They don't know how to proceed."
"So many times," he continues, "substance abuse is at the root of it all. Hopefully we can help mitigate the consequences and get them back on track."After graduating from Berkeley with an honors degree in history, Battifora - a classically-trained pianist since the age of three - toured with a rock n' roll band. He hit clubs throughout LA (including the Roxy and Whiskey A Go Go) and even snagged gigs in London.
A Chicago native, Battifora returned to the Midwest for law school. He went to Northwestern University School of Law while supporting himself as a keyboard player on the cocktail circuit.
But Hollywood called. So, after graduating, Battifora returned to LA and the entertainment industry. He started as a mailroom assistant at an A-list talent agency and worked his way up through a variety of talent agent and talent manager positions.
When he'd had his fill of booking spots for LA's actors, he became one himself! He joined the Screen Actors Guild and appeared in Walmart and Sizzler commercials, among others.
Battifora, who is bilingual in Spanish, hopes to one day earn his substance abuse counseling certificate. But for now he's happy to use the law to help those in need.
"I really love people," he says. "I really want to see them recover."