25 Years of Excellence
Mark Baute founded Baute Crochetiere Hartley & Velkei LLP with a goal of providing clients with high-caliber legal services without the rigidity and formalities that are characteristic of large law firms. The firm has grown to be one of the premier trial and commercial litigation boutique law firms in Los Angeles.
From the beginning, the firm’s emphasis has been on winning, recognizing that cost-effective closure and the definition of “winning” are determined by factors often unique to a particular client’s goals, needs, or business environment. We provide creative and pragmatic solutions to our clients’ legal problems, recognizing that clients need to win in the real world context of their businesses.
The lawyers at BCHV have chosen to be part of this different approach to the practice of law. Having attended top 25 law schools and practiced at large multi-national law firms before joining BCHV, they created a firm that changed the delivery of legal services, based in large part on the constant recognition that the legal profession is a service business — clients come first.
BCHV is a markedly different place for lawyers and clients to work with one another. The firm consciously downplays the quantity of hours billed, measuring success by results, not by billable hours. Confident in the ability to achieve results, the firm regularly enters into incentivized fee agreements, including hybrid contingent fee arrangements. That sort of flexibility is rarely an option with a large law firm.
We believe that personal satisfaction, economic success, and the effective representation of clients are linked to one another, and the best results in all these areas are achieved by balancing the practice of law, time with family, and participating in the larger civic community. BCHV has provided pro bono services to community organizations such as Public Counsel and the Cancer Legal Resource Center. BCHV attorneys have filed amicus briefs on behalf of civil rights organizations with the United States Supreme Court, and argued under the First Amendment for press and public access to sealed transcripts of legal proceedings. We have tutored adults in an adult literacy program run by the Los Angeles Public Library.
Mark Baute founded the firm in 1995. In 1998, he was recognized by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the top twenty lawyers in California under 40 years of age. In 2014, he was honored as one of the top 100 entertainment lawyers in the nation by the Hollywood Reporter. David P. Crochetiere joined the firm in 1996, after practicing for several years with Loeb & Loeb LLP. Michael J. Hartley joined the firm in 2013, from Alston + Bird LLP. Steven A. Velkei joined the firm in 2018, after practicing with the international firm Dentons. Steven has been recognized for his excellence by a variety of legal organizations including California Super Lawyers, Benchmark Litigation and Law Dragon.
The firm’s team of lawyers, from top law schools with big-firm experience, all share the name partners’ commitment to excellence and finding creative and pragmatic solutions for their clients. The small firm environment allows uncommon responsiveness to clients’ business needs, with the flexibility in legal strategy and client relationships that would be difficult if not impossible in a large firm.
BCHV’s lawyers figure out quickly which issues are critical and dispositive, and concentrate on those case-determinative issues. We are actual trial lawyers, focused on winning, not running up unnecessary legal fees and costs.