Visalia natives Bob Ainley and Josh Alipaz break out on their own to bring relationship-driven practice to the South Valley
By Reggie Ellis
VISALIA – Two attorneys with lifelong ties to Visalia and each other’s families have formed a new Visalia-based boutique law firm.
Visalia natives Bob Ainley and Josh Alipaz recently formed Ainley Alipaz PC out of a mutual desire to build a relationship-driven law practice with roots in the South Valley.
“We have the experience and training of working in a larger firm, which we can now bring to our clients in an environment that is based on close professional connections in a small office setting,” Alipaz said. “This is the best of both worlds for our clients.”
The partners previously worked in the Visalia office of Dowling Aaron, a well established Fresno-based law firm with an extensive client base throughout the Valley. Alipaz served as the managing partner of that office before he and Ainley departed to offer specialized experience in the areas of business and corporate law, real estate transactions, nonprofits, and trusts and estates. Their clients include companies of all sizes, nonprofits, doctors, farmers, landowners and other business professionals.
Both Ainley and Alipaz are Visalia natives and Golden West High School graduates with long family histories in the South Valley. Ainley comes from a family of longtime cattle ranchers and teachers out of Woodlake, and Alipaz is the grandson of Thoburn Haworth, the central figure of Orange Belt Stages charter bus company in Visalia for many years.
“My family has been ranching and teaching in this area for a long time, and I think those before me generated a lot of name recognition and good will as honest, hardworking people,” Ainley said. “I see this firm as my opportunity to continue that positive legacy.”
The partners’ history with each other began over 30 years ago. The Ainley and Alipaz families were neighbors, living a half-mile from each other on the outskirts of Visalia. They admittedly weren’t close friends, as Josh was several years older than Bob, but the families attended the same church. When Bob’s mother died when he was just 8 years old, it was Josh’s parents who helped look after the Ainley children.
“We would walk home from elementary school every day to Josh’s house and wait for our dad to pick us up later,” Bob said. “Josh’s mom would help us with our school projects and generally looked after us for my dad.”
The family ties continued as Josh’s younger brother, Joel, eventually went to work with Bob’s brother Matt Ainley’s company 4 Creeks, and Bob’s father eventually remarried to an old friend of Josh’s mother.
The two attorneys became reacquainted in 2014, when Bob’s brother Matt mentioned to Josh that his brother was considering moving back home or taking a job in Washington, D.C. after living in the Philippines. Josh set up a meeting between Bob and Russ Hurley and Phil Laird, who were heading the Visalia office for Aaron Dowling where Josh worked. After going decades without seeing or hearing from each other, Bob was offered a job and the two began working together in the same office.
Ainley Alipaz PC is located at 403 N. Floral St. in the historic Hurley & Laird building in downtown Visalia. The firm can be reached at 559-571-1030 or [email protected].