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shopping and services trainer of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. That’s something to smile about. Best Attorney Jeannette Witten Hudson Martin, 26515 Carmel Rancho Blvd., Suite 200, Carmel (831) 375-3151, Jeannette Witten has practiced law for over 20 years; most of them at Hudson Martin, the oldest firm on the Central Coast. While Witten didn’t defend Steinbeck’s heir, Waverly Scott Kaffaga, when she sued her stepfather’s son, Thomas Steinbeck, for lost profits in the film adaptations of The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden, she represents lots of local agricultural businesses and individuals in different matters. They may be a little less Hollywood—things like intellectual property, licensing and copyright—but that’s a lot of crucial cases. Best Law Firm Fenton & Keller 2801 Highway 68, Monterey (831) 373-1241, If Kino from the novella The Pearl had had the privilege of legal representation after finding “The Pearl Of The World,” maybe tragedy would not have befallen his family. For over 70 years, Fenton & Keller’s team of legal professionals have litigated every imaginable kind of case and dispute in Monterey County. One of their more memorable successes was freeing the guitarist from The Mamas and Papas after he was arrested for an allegedly “bad” LSD experience. Best Real Estate Office Carmel Realty Company Dolores Street between 7th and 8th, Carmel (831) 622-1000, carmelrealtycompany. com With a portfolio of houses and vacation rentals that could launch a million stories, Carmel Realty Company continues its reign as the region’s Best Real Estate Office. For more than a century, this real estate company has sold some of Monterey County’s most iconic properties and poetic landscapes throughout Carmel and Pebble Beach, Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel Valley. Plus they are great at what they do. If the Palace Flophouse came on the market, they could start a bidding war. Best Realtor Jen Jacobs Bolger and Joy Jacobs KW Coastal Estates 26135 Carmel Rancho Blvd., Suite F200, Carmel (831) 236-7976, John Steinbeck had a lot to say about property ownership and how land binds us to a place. It took on an almost spiritual proportion for many of his fictional characters. It’s the same way for clients of mother-daughter team Jen Jacobs Bolger and Joy Jacobs. “Sometimes it takes a long time to find the place that makes their heart sing, but when you do, you can see it in their eyes,” Joy says. “On those places, you just fight harder and longer, and make your offers in such a way that it’s really hard to say no.” Best Bank Monterey Credit union Multiple locations in Monterey County Steinbeck referred to the banking institution as a “monster.” But Monterey Credit Union wasn’t around back then. As nonprofit, community-focused financial institutions, credit unions have a critical role in the financial health and security of households across the country. Fortunately, Monterey Credit Union has played 50 BEST OF MONTEREY COUNTY® 2023 WE ARE HUMBLED AND GRATEFUL FOR BEING NAMED ONCE AGAIN ’15 ’17 ’18 ’20 ’19 ’16 BEST USED CAR DEALERSHIP IN MONTEREY COUNTY ’23 CARDINALE GMC 2 Heitzinger Plaza, Seaside • 831.394.1233 ’21