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Class Notes

USC Gould School of Law

We invite members of our USC Gould Trojan Family to share their milestones and accomplishments with our community.

Tell us about your new job, awards/honors, wedding and birth announcements — and other news! Class Notes are shared in the USC Law magazine and here online. Email us at [email protected] or fill out the form linked below.

Spring 2024

Inès Béjaoui (LLM 2018) was promoted to senior associate in the London office of A&O Shearman.
Andrés Cantero, Jr. (JD 2016) received the "Outstanding Young Lawyer Award” of 2024 by the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Marquis Cardwell (JD 2022) joined Paul Hastings LLP as an associate in the firm’s Los Angeles office.
Amber Finch (JD 2002) was named  by the LA Business Journal to their “Top 100 Lawyers for Los Angeles.”
Seepan V. Parseghian (JD 2011), of counsel in Beck Redden LLP’s Houston office, received the Houston Young Lawyers Association (HYLA) “2023-2024 Outstanding Committee Chair Award.”
Brandon Reilly (JD 2011) was promoted to Partner and Leader in the Privacy and Data Security Group at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP. Reilly works in the firm’s Orange County and San Diego offices.
Tiffiny Blacknell (JD 2002) was named 2024 Barbara F. Bice Public Interest Law Foundation “Alumni of the Year.”
Linda Hoos (JD 2001) has been named vice president of the Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX at the University of Southern California.
David Javidzad (JD 2020) and Camille Yona (BA 2015, JD 2019) are pleased to announce their engagement. David proposed on campus with the USC Trojan Marching Band. Congratulations!
Michael Ludwig (BS 1991, JD 1994) was featured in the Daily Journal article, “Two Sides to Every Story.”
Andrew Morrell (JD 2021) joined Goldberg Segalla’s Los Angeles office as an associate in their Retail and Hospitality division.
Jessica Stephan (JD 2022) joined Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP’s Atlanta office as an associate in their Tax Controversy group.
Dan Woods (BA 1974, JD 1977) was recognized by Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the "Top 100 Lawyers of Los Angeles” for 2024.

Fall 2023

Jerrold Abeles (JD 1988) was appointed as a Los Angeles Superior Court judge at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles.

Margaret Abernathy (JD 2014) was named general counsel and head of government relations at Impulse Space.

Shaima Alharbi (LLM 2023) is a legal associate with the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Finance in Riyadh. 

Abdullah Alsaeed (LLM 2014) was elected partner in Latham and Watkins LLP’s Riyadh office in Saudi Arabia, where he is a member of the White Collar Defense & Investigations practice and Litigation & Trial department. He represents clients in Saudi Arabia and globally on regulatory and commercial litigation matters. 

Massimo Amoruso (LLM 2008, MCL 2009) was named partner at Mayer Brown International LLC, Energy & Infrastructure in London.

Ryan Appleby (JD 2013) was promoted to partner in the Litigation department of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s Los Angeles office.

Liz Atlee (JD 1993) was included in the Top 50 Diverse Board Candidate list by Equilar and the Nasdaq Center for Board Excellence. According to a press release, the list “is derived from nominations representing underrepresented demographic groups and candidates who do not yet serve on a public board.”

Charles G. Bakaly, IV (BA 20112; JD 2017) was named in the first “Lawdragon 500 X - The Next Generation” guide, “dedicated to those who will define where the legal profession of our country goes.”

Lindsay Barstow (JD 2013) has been elected as counsel in the Los Angeles office of Saul Ewing, LLP, where she is a member of the firm’s Real Estate division.

Najeh Baharun (JD/MBA 2012) was elected as partner in the Finance department of Willkie Farr & Gallagher, LLP’s Los Angeles office.

Richard Benes (JD 1976) was inducted into the California Lawyers Association’s Appellate Lawyer Hall of Fame in September

Thomas Bellaiche (LLM 2017) was named senior legal officer at MYM in Paris.

Dawn Bittleston (JD 1998) was appointed to serve as a Kern County Superior Court judge.

Shawn Boyne (JD 1991) was appointed as tenured professor by the University of Minnesota's Board of Regents. Currently, she is the associate vice-chancellor for Business, Arts, and Education at the University of Minnesota Crookston.

Ana Bruzzese Biegert (BA 1997, JD/MBT 2000) was promoted to senior vice president of tax at Mattel in El Segundo, Calif.

Hannah Cary (JD 2014) was promoted to counsel at Latham & Watkins LLP in San Diego. She is a member of the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity Practice and CorporatedDepartment. 

Kimberly Carter (JD 2001) recently joined Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. as a member of the Los Angeles office. She is part of the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice group. In addition, Carter is chair of the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce’s Education Fund & Foundation.

Jordan Cook (JD 2013) was promoted to counsel at Latham & Watkins LLP’s Costa Mesa office. She is a member of the firm’s Securities Litigation & Professional Liability practice and Litigation & Trial department.

Cristyn Chadwick (JD 2011) joined TroyGould PC as senior counsel and was installed as president of the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice.

Brietta Clark (JD 1999) has been named the Fritz B. Burns Dean of Loyola Law School, the first woman and first Black dean in the law school’s history. Clark has served as interim dean since July 16, 2023. 

Ofunne Edoziem (JD 2008) released her young adult fantasy novel, The Herdsmen. Edoziem is a staff attorney in the Financial Services Litigation group at Reed Smith.

Joseph Egbule (JD 2012) joined FordHarrison LLP as an associate.

Jeffery Elder (JD 2012) was promoted to chief counsel and director of legal services at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). Elder is a member of the USC Gould Alumni Association Los Angeles Committee.

Stephen Pfahler (JD 1990) recently published “The Whole Truth for Lawyers: A Complete Guide to Flourishing in Your Life and Career.” In his book, Judge Pfahler provides a practical and comprehensive manual for thriving in and outside work.

Sofia Rinvil (MSL 2019) joined the New York City Council as a legislative fellow for the Office of NYC Council Member Carlina Rivera.

Rose-Ellen Fairgrieve (JD 1995) received the Labor & Employment Lawyer of the Year Award for the U.S. from Lawyer Monthly.

Tracy Fehr (JD 2005) is a partner at Alexander Morrison Fehr, LLP, which was included in the Daily Journal's “Top Boutiques” for 2023.

Ronald Gomez (JD 2020) was elected to the Los Angeles Mexican-American Bar Association's board of trustees.

Nicole Gates (JD 2013) was promoted to vice president, Legal at Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.

Steffi Hafen (JD 2010) a partner in Snell & Wilmer’s San Diego office, was included in the San Diego Business Journal’s 2023 "Top 100 Leaders in Law," which recognizes outstanding legal professionals in the San Diego County legal community. In addition, she was selected as a finalist in the San Diego Business Journal’s “2023 Business Women of the Year Awards.”

Whitney Hodges (JD 2010) was named a 2023 Commercial Real Estate Visionary by the Los Angeles Times.

Hakjoon “James” Joo (LLM 2019) was named as an investment funds associate in the Los Angeles office of Kirkland & Ellis.

Rebecca Lee (JD 2013) was promoted to counsel at Venable LLP’s Los Angeles office.

Breann Swann Nu'uhiwa (JD 2004) was named counsel to Law360’s editorial advisory board for Native American Law. 

Judge Margaret Mann (JD 1981) will receive the Outstanding Jurist Award for San Diego County by the County Bar Association. She will retire from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of California on April 1, 2024, following a 14-year term.  Judge Mann is married to her fellow Gould alum, Michael O’Halloran (JD 1981).

Dimitris Kostelidis (LLM 2022) started a new position as an attorney in the Los Angeles office of Silverman Theologou, LLP.

Faisal Khairy (LLM 2020) joined Insurance Authority in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as a senior legal specialist.

John Kreager (Thornton 2011, JD 2014) was elected partner in the Los Angeles office of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where he works in the firm’s Private Funds division.

John Iino (JD 1987) USC trustee, past president of the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors and chair of the USC Alumni Presidents Council, will serve as the interim leader of the USC Alumni Association. Iino also received the 2023 Legacy of Leadership Award from the Multicultural Women Executive Leadership Foundation in November. 

LaVonda Reed (JD 1997) was named dean of the University of Baltimore School of Law. Reed currently serves as dean of Georgia State University College of Law and will begin her new role July 1, 2024.

Zev Shechtman (JD 2009) joined Saul Ewing LLP as partner in the firm's Los Angeles Bankruptcy & Restructuring practice.

Faustina Lee (JD 2010) was elected partner in the Los Angeles office of Tucker Ellis, LLP. Lee’s practice focuses on intellectual property and Internet law.

Richard Lockridge (JD 2015) was elected partner at McGuireWoods’ Charlotte, NC office.

William Meyers (JD 2009) was recognized in the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Leaders of Influence: Thriving in Their 40s 2023.” 

Sharvani Navangul-Gupta joined Schneiders & Associates, LLP as law clerk.

Ridhineka Nepaul (LLM 2018) was promoted to senior management consultant, Technology, Strategy and Digital Transformation at KPMG Canada in Vancouver, BC.

Omar Noureldin (JD 2014) was appointed senior counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

Jennifer Sayles Okorn (JD 2013) was elected to partner in Gunderson Dettmer LLP’s Los Angeles office.

Nathaniel Sussman (JD 2020) an associate at Munger, Tolles & Olson, authored a book chapter in Thomson Reuters’ 2024 edition of “eDiscovery for Corporate Counsel, titled “Generative Artificial Intelligence: Opportunities, Challenges, and Considerations for Attorneys.”

Melody Shekari (JD 2014) was named executive director of the Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga.

Juthamas “Judy” Suwatanapongched (JD 2009) was named partner at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP’s Los Angeles office, where she has been serving as a litigation attorney.

Juan Carlos Olivares (JD 2014) was promoted to counsel at Latham & Watkins LLP’s Los Angeles office. He is a member of the firm’s Banking Practice and Finance department. 

Meghan McLean Poon (JD 2014) was named partner in the Palo Alto office of Morrison Foerster LLP, where she works in the firm’s Transactions department and the Patent Strategy + Prosecution group.

Janani Rana (JD 2009) co-chair of the USC Gould Alumni Association of Orange County, has been elected partner at Minyard Morris LLP. In addition, she recently joined the Orange County Women Lawyers Association board of directors.

Michael Rumbolz (JD 1980) executive chair of the board of Everi Holdings Inc., has been named chairman of the American Gaming Association (AGA).

Philip “Phil” Rudnick’s (JD 1961) article on his service in the U.S. Army, ‘Community Voices: America, thanks for my service!’ was published in The Bakersfield Californian.

Justin Sanders (JD 2000) has been appointed to the Association of Business Trial Lawyers Board of Governors.

Lenita Skoretz (JD 1996) was appointed as judge to the San Bernardino Superior Court by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Nyati Shah (LLM 2022) was a guest speaker at the USC India Innovation Summit in Mumbai in January. Shah is a consultant with Prime Video & Amazon Studios and a member of the USC Gould Alumni Association’s International Committee.

Arc Tolentino (LLM 2022) recently launched the sports agency, AFC Sports Worldwide, LLC. He is licensed by FIFA.

Christina Tusan (JD 1997) joined Hammond Law, P.C. as partner, where she oversees the firm's consumer protection class action and privacy litigation group. Tusan comes to Hammond Law after working at the Federal Trade Commission, the California Attorney General's Office, and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.

Ryan Walsh (JD 2013) was promoted to counsel at Latham & Watkins LLP’s office in Costa Mesa, Calif. He is a member of the firm’s Securities Litigation & Professional Liability practice and Litigation & Trial department.

Justin Ward (JD 2000) received the Distinguished Attorney of the Year Award from the Sacramento County Bar Association. 

Ryan Williams (JD 2001) was appointed to serve as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge.

Dan Woods (JD 1977) a partner at Musick Peeler LLP, was recognized in the 2022 edition of Benchmark Litigation as a California Litigation Star.

Joanna Weiss (JD 1997) founder and past president of Women for American Values and Ethics (WAVE) Action Fund is running for Congress in California’s 47th District (Orange County).

Annette A. Wong (JD 2012) was included in the 2024 Best Lawyers “Ones to Watch” list.

Pēteris Zilgalvis (JD 1990) was invited to speak on behalf of the General Court at the annual General Assembly of the judges of the Court of Justice of the EU (of the General Court & Court) in December 2023. He presented on Artificial Intelligence and the judiciary.

In Memoriam

Michael H. Dougherty (JD 1966) 88, passed away on July 10, 2023, surrounded by family at his San Clemente home. Upon graduating from USC Law School, Dougherty joined the Los Angeles County Counsel’s Office, where he worked for 20 years before he retired.

Dougherty is survived by his wife of 60 years, Carole, their three daughters, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. The family requests that anyone wishing to honor Dougherty’s memory pick up a good book and read it in bed, one of his favorite activities.

Bruce Grossman (JD 1964)

Following a 10-year battle with Parkinson's disease, Marshall Bruce Grossman (JD 1964) passed away on Sept. 30. He was 84.

A native of Omaha, Neb., Grossman moved to Los Angeles in 1943 when his father became the director of the Hollywood USO. He attended Fairfax High School and went on to UCLA and USC Gould, where he graduated Order of the Coif.

After graduation from law school, he joined the law firm of Weber, Schwartz and Alschuler, where he won one of the first consumer class action lawsuits in the country against the Playboy Club. Grossman stayed with the firm for more than 40 years. In 2013 he joined Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP, and retired in January 2020.

A nationally recognized trial lawyer Grossman’s clients included Apple, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Estee Lauder, and the University of Southern California as well as celebrities including Steven Spielberg, J.K. Rowling and Clint Eastwood.

He served as a member of the California Coastal Commission and the California Commission on Judicial Performance.

Grossman was involved in several community organizations,  chaired the Concerned Lawyers for Soviet Jewry and co-chaired the annual Chabad Telethon for several years.

He is survived by Marlene, his wife of 61 years, children Rodger and Leslie, and grandchildren Sofia, Goldie and Max.

Michael Kerr (JD 1996) 53, of Naperville, Ill., passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023. 
A native of Joliet, Ill., Kerr graduated from Joliet Catholic High School and Stanford University before receiving his law degree from USC Gould. 
A longtime lawyer and lobbyist, Kerr specialized in banking law. He loved arguing politics, drinking scotch and telling tales with his family and friends.
He is survived by his wife DeAnn; his sons Anthony and Aidan; his daughter, Andrea (Drea); and his mother, Kathy Kerr.

Wilmer “Will” Windham (JD 1959) 91, passed away on Nov. 4, 2023.

After graduating from North Hollywood High School in 1950, Windham enlisted in the Army and served in Japan during the Korean War. He returned home and enrolled at UCLA, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1955. Four years later, he graduated from the USC Law School, where he received the Law Alumni Award and Order of the Coif. 

Windham practiced law in Los Angeles and later relocated to Montana in 1992, where he worked in private practice and as chief and associate justice of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Appellate Court. He eventually retired in Portland, Ore.

Windham leaves behind his wife, Jeanne; son, Mark; and many family and friends. 

Harry Hathaway (JD 1962) passed away on Oct. 5 following a long illness. He was 86.

Born in Pasadena, Hathaway attended South Pasadena High School and the University of California, Berkeley, where he played football and was a member of the U.S. Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps. He went on to earn his law degree from USC. While in law school, Hathaway met Betty "Betsy" Falkenburg of San Marino, Calif. The two were married in 1962. 

He passed the bar in 1963 and entered the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer, later rising to the rank of captain in 1964 and then aide-de-camp to the commanding general of the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps.

Hathaway earned a reputation as a talented business and corporate transactional lawyer and eventually became the managing partner at the LA. office of Hill, Farrer & Burrill LLP. He became a partner with Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, managing the L.A. office for many years. He retired from the firm in 2016. 

During his career, Hathaway held volunteer leadership positions in many professional organizations. He joined the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association and later became a member of its board of directors. He was a member of the ABA House of Delegates, ABA Journal Board of Editors, and the ABA's Finance Committee and Board of Governors. He served as president of the American Bar Endowment, the ABA Retirement Fund, and the Chancery Club of Los Angeles. Hathaway eventually became president of the ABA and the Los Angeles County Bar Association, which was the largest local voluntary bar association in the nation at the time. 

Hathaway served on the board of trustees and executive committee for the UC Berkeley Foundation, and he was a member of the Berkeley Fellows Honorary Society. 

He leaves behind his wife Betsy, sons Mark and David, daughters-in-law Tami and Wendy, and grandchildren Cate, Grace, Benett, and Audrey.