About USC Gould
USC Gould is a top-ranked law school with a 120-year history and reputation for academic excellence. We are located on the beautiful 228-acre USC University Park Campus, just south of downtown Los Angeles.
Learn about our interdisciplinary curriculum, experiential learning opportunities and specialized areas.
Participate in an unparalleled learning experience with diversity of people and thought. Get involved in the law school community and participate in activities that enhance your studies.
We work closely with students, graduates and employers to support successful career goals and outcomes. Our overall placement rate is consistently strong, with 94 percent of our JD class employed within 10 months after graduation.
Our faculty is distinguished for its scholarship, as well as for its commitment to teaching. Our 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio creates an intimate and collegial learning environment.
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Christopher Aitken, JD 1996, a partner with Aitken, Aitken, and Cohn, led a case to settle for over $11 million, which involved the California GOP and a man paralyzed in a 2016 car crash.
Jessica Chu was named partner at Allen Matkins’ Los Angeles office, where she is a member of the firm's Corporate, Tax, and Joint Ventures groups.
Gary Davidson, JD 1986, a partner at Miami-based global law firm Diaz Reus, is the new chair of the International Litigation and Arbitration Certification Committee of the Florida Bar.
Samuel Djanhanbani, MBT 2014, JD 2020, co-authored LA Lawyer's May 2021 cover story, "Taxing the Terminator."
Daniel Glassman, JD 1995, joined K&L Gates LLP’s Orange County office as partner. He is a member of the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation and Disputes practice group.
Justin Goldstein, JD 1998, partner and chair of Sklar Kirsh's Litigation Practice Group, has been named to the Los Angeles Times' LA500, which recognizes "the most influential, most powerful, and most impactful business professionals in the region."
Daniel Guggenheim, JD 2004, was named a 2021 “Commercial Real Estate Visionary” in the Los Angeles Times B2B Publishing’s “Los Angeles & Orange Counties Commercial Real Estate: Trends, Updates and Visionaries” magazine.
Joseph Jeong, LLM 2018, associate regional director of Dispute Resolution Services at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), has joined USC Gould as a lecturer in law.
The Hollywood Reporter named Deborah Klein, JD 1985; Jeanne Newman, JD 1980; Robert Schwartz, JD 1984; P.J. Shapiro, JD 1999; Fred Toczek, JD 1989; David Weber, JD 1986; and Susan Zuckerman Williams, JD 1986, to its "Power Lawyers 2021: Hollywood's Top 100 Attorneys."
Juanita E. Mantz, JD 2002, will release her new book, Portrait of a Deputy Public Defender (or how I became a punk rock lawyer), in August 2021.
Scott Shaw, JD 2002, joined Merchant & Gould as managing partner of the firm's new Los Angeles office. Shaw’s practice focuses on IP litigation.
On June 9, civil rights attorney Matthew Strugar, JD 2004, was Maria Hall's, JD 2003, guest on the "Lawyers Guild Radio Show," where he discussed his "ongoing battles against states that criminalize same-sex activity."
Sam Yebri, JD 2006, a partner with Merino Yebri, LLP, announced his candidacy for Los Angeles City Council.
Phillip Younglove's, JD 2015, article, "The Reasonable Demand: How to Avoid the Pesky ‘Unable to Accept or Reject’ Letter” was published in The Gavel and Plaintiff Magazine. He is a partner at Younglove Law Group in Newport Beach.
William Dalessi, JD 1948, passed away on May 24. He was 98.
Dalessi was born in 1922 in Santa Maria, Calif. He served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II, flying B-17s in Germany and France. The GI benefits he received from his service allowed him to attend law school at USC.
He eventually settled in Long Beach and formed a law firm with George Deukmejian, who would later become governor of California. Dalessi ran Deukmejian’s successful campaign for reelection to the state Senate in 1976.
Dalessi was involved in local government as well, serving as Long Beach City Councilor from 1957 to 1960 and as a member of the Marina Advisory Board. However, he may be best remembered as the founder of the Long Beach Congressional Cup Match Race, part of the World Match Racing Tour.
He is survived by his wife Margo and his children, Pamela Thompson and William B. Dalessi. He was predeceased by his son Theodore Dalessi.
A chair was donated in his name at USC Gould. Professor Gregory Keating currently holds the William T. Dalessi Professor of Law and Philosophy.
Carol Sperry Moss, JD 1976, passed away on April 24, 2021. She was 91.
The daughter of noted engineer Albert Sperry and abstract expressionist Vicci Sperry, Carol was born in Chicago in 1922. She graduated from the University of Chicago at 18 and went on to work as a reporter for Radio International, based in Amsterdam.
When she returned to the U.S., she met and married Conrad Jacobs Moss, who later became a California Appellate Court judge. The couple had four children before Moss’s sudden death. Sperry Moss later earned her law degree from USC.
She is remembered as an environmental activist and community volunteer. Sperry Moss was a member of the first board of the Santa Mountains Conservancy; the host of a weekly meditation group for 30 years; and the founder of the Malibu Community Resources Assistance Team (CART) to combat homelessness, which she started when she was 85 years old. She received numerous accolades for her community service.
She leaves behind her children, Brian, Diane, and John; and several grandchildren. She was predeceased by her daughter, Katherine.
Lei Lei Wang-Ekvall, JD 1992, passed away on June 27 after suffering a stroke.
Wang-Ekvall earned an undergraduate degree in information and computer science from the University of California, Irvine, in 1988 and a law degree from USC Gould four years later. She went on to clerk for United States Bankruptcy judges, the Honorable Alan M. Ahart, William J. Lasarow, Kathleen T. Lax, Kathleen P. March, and Vincent P. Zurzolo.
A leader in the Southern California legal community, Wang-Ekvall held positions in numerous organizations, including president of the Orange County Asian American Bar Association, president of the Orange County Bankruptcy Forum, president of the Orange County Bar Association, president of Community Legal Aid SoCal, and board member and president of the Orange County Bar Association Charitable Fund.
Her history of community service and outstanding legal work earned her numerous accolades. She received the Orange County Bankruptcy Forum’s 2015 Honorable Peter M. Elliott Memorial Award for excellence in the field; she was named Attorney of the Year by the Orange County Women Lawyers Association in 2019, and she was selected as a Southern California Super Lawyer.
Known for her adventurer’s spirit, she traveled extensively with her family, even diving with great white sharks, scuba diving, and going on safari. At the time of her passing, Wang-Evkall was a partner at Smiley Wang-Ekvall, where her practice focused on insolvency and bankruptcy-related matters.
She leaves behind a host of family and dear friends and colleagues.
Abdulrahman Abdul Hamdi, LLM/GCRT 2021, and Itzel De La Torre, MSL 2021, are winners of the USC Gould School of Law Graduate and International Programs award, which recognizes their support of, and positive impact on, the student community.
Ronald S. Barak, BS 1964, JD 1968, published JK’s Code, the fourth in his bestselling Brooks/Lotello thriller series. He was a partner and chairman of the real estate section and co-managing partner of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, and later a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP. Barak competed in the 1964 Olympics as a member of the United States men’s national gymnastics team and later served as head coach of USC’s varsity gymnastics team.
Tom Bradley, JD 1995, received the Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service from the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice for his efforts to reduce pretrial detention in West Africa. Since 2015, Bradley has been detailed to the State Department as the Resident Legal Advisor at U.S. Embassies in Mauritania, Mali, and now Burkina Faso.
Emily Bratt, JD 2021, received the Student of the Year award for the C. David Molina First Generation Professionals Program for mentorship of first-generation students at USC Gould.
Brian Cabrera, BA 1988, JD/MBA 1990, has been named Quantum’s general counsel and chief compliance officer, based in San Jose, Calif. Previously, Cabrera was an assistant United States Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, criminal division.
Amanda Clark, JD/GCRT 2021; Tyler Dobberstein, JD 2021; Qianru Kara Du, JD 2021; Forest Lieberman, JD 2021; Danielle Luchetta, JD 2021; and Sara Zollner, JD 2021, received the 2021 Edward and Eleanor Shattuck Award, given to USC Gould students who have demonstrated the greatest potential for becoming outstanding members of the bar and whose actions have improved the general quality of life at USC Gould School of Law.
Robert Dixon, JD 2008, joined Sanders Roberts LLP as a partner in the firm’s general liability and business litigation practice groups, and will be based in San Diego. Previously, Dixon was a partner with Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP. Sanders Roberts was founded by Reggie Roberts, Jr., JD 2000, and Justin Sanders, JD 2000.
Jessica Hardy, JD 2006, was named partner at Walraven & Westerfeld LLP.
Michael Hartman, JD 2013, was elevated to partner in Ziffren Brittenham LLP’s Film and Television group.
Brian Hom, BS 2002, JD 2005, joined Clark Hill PLC’s Los Angeles office as a member of the Litigation practice. Previously, Hom was a senior attorney with Morgan, Lewis and Brockius LLP.
Shehzad K. Huda, JD 2012, was promoted to partner in DLA Piper LLP’s San Diego, Calif. office, where he is a member of the firm’s National Leadership Group of the US Emerging Growth and Venture Capital Practice.
Monique Jewett-Brewster, JD 2001, was elected shareholder at Hopkins & Carley. She is a member of the financial institutions and creditor’s rights practice group and co-chair of the firm’s bankruptcy practice.
Sidney Kanazawa, JD 1978, was honored with the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association’s (APAA) 2021 Leadership Award at their annual gala on Mar. 26.
Jonathan Kwortek, JD 2020, won an honorable mention award in the 2020 Beverly Hills Bar Association’s Rule of Law competition. Kwortek’s entry, “Guilty Beyond a Reasonable Vote: Challenging Felony Disenfranchisement Under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act” will be honored at a special BHBF/ABA Law Day event this spring.
Chase Leavitt, BS 2004, JD 2007, was appointed as general counsel of Oncternal Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel oncology therapies.
Forest Lieberman, JD 2021, was hired by Inner City Law Center in Los Angeles, where he will focus on tenant defense.
Stacie Nyborg, JD 2008, was named of counsel in Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP’s Santa Barbara, Calif. corporate and business department.
Sal Phillips, JD 2015, was named lead counsel, privacy incidents at Facebook in Washington, DC. Previously, he was an associate at Polsinelli LLP’s Chicago office.
David Pickett, JD 1999, has joined Brightline West in Las Vegas as associate general counsel to help construct a privately owned and operated high-speed electric passenger railroad between Southern California and Las Vegas. Previously, he served as in-house counsel for Union Pacific Railroad and the Sacramento Regional Transit District.
Austin Pollet, JD 2009, was named partner in Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP‘s new San Francisco office’s corporate department. Most recently, Pollet had been with Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
Mirelle Raza, JD 2021, was awarded the 2021 Miller-Johnson Equal Justice Prize at USC Gould for her commitment to the cause of civil and social justice.
LaVonda Reed, JD 1997, was named dean of Georgia State College of Law. Previously, Reed was associate provost for faculty affairs and professor of law at Syracuse University.
Jarmal Richard, JD 1994, CEO of JDRLegal, is the subject of an upcoming documentary about long distance running, also known as ultra running called "Run the Otways."
Paul Richardson, JD 1990, was named senior executive vice president and chief human resources officer of The Walt Disney Company.
Nina Rosser, JD 2021, received the 2021 Mason C. Brown award, given to a USC Gould student for their commitment to public interest law and talent for trial work.
Jeffrey Sklar, JD 2007, was appointed to the Pima County Superior Court in Pima County Tucson, Ariz. by Gov. Doug Ducey. Previously, he was a partner and commercial litigator at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP. He served as outside general counsel to the Metropolitan Domestic Water Improvement District and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. In addition, Sklar had been serving as a Pima County Superior Court Judge Pro Tem, where he handled civil and family law-related settlement conferences.
Sophie Sylla, JD 2021, received the 2021 Dean Dorothy Nelson Commemorative Prize for her work toward improvement of the administration of justice.
Abraham Tabaie, JD 2008, was elevated to partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP and Affiliates in Los Angeles. Tabaie will serve in the firm’s Palo Alto, Calif. litigation division.
Staci Tomita, JD 2009, was named president-elect of the Japanese American Bar Association (JABA).
Serine Tsuda, JD 2012, was recently certified as a family law specialist, recognized by the State Bar of California. She is a partner with Lee Salisbury, JD 1976, in the firm of Salisbury, Lee and Tsuda LLP in Pasadena, Calif. In addition, Tsuda welcomed a new baby in 2020.
Kelly Vallon, JD 2013, was elevated to partner in Ziffren Brittenham LLP’s music group.
Alberlynne "Abby" Woods, JD 2002, is co-producing BET’s "Twenties the After Show," with Lena Waithe, Rishi Rajani, and B. Scott, the network’s first non-binary host and executive producer.
Dan Woods, BA 1974, JD 1977, partner at Musick, Peeler & Garrett LLP, was honored with the 2021 Inner City Law Center Katharine Krause award for his pro bono and volunteer service.
Alexander Yebri, BA 2013, JD/GCRT 2017, announced the launch of his new firm, Hillcrest Law PC, in Los Angeles. The firm specializes in personal injury, business, and real estate law.
Robert W. Zakon obtained his bachelor's degree in 1953 from UCLA, where he majored in political science. He went on to law school at USC, graduating as part of the class of 1956. He spent 25 years as a trial lawyer. From there, he began his 25 years on the bench, when he was appointed Commissioner with the Los Angeles Superior Court in September of 1981. He spent most of his career as Commissioner in family law, interrupted by two assignments to law and motion court in the early part of his career.
Commissioner Zakon was described by attorneys as "very bright," "intuitive," and as "having the best interests of the child" above all else in his work. He died peacefully at home on January 22, 2021, at the age of 90.
Maribeth Annaguey, JD 2003, was elevated to name partner at Browne George Ross O'Brien Annaguey & Ellis LLP.
Gaines & Stacey LLP in Encino, Calif. named Alicia Bartley, JD 2003, as partner. Her practice focuses on a variety of areas, including litigation involving property transactions, land use entitlements, and other real estate-related matters.
Hon. Catherine Bauer (Ret.), JD 1985, recently retired as a bankruptcy judge and joined Signature Resolution as a mediator and arbitrator.
Michael Bazyler, JD 1978, has authored a book, Global Legal Tradition, Comparative Law for the 21st Century, to be published in February 2021. He is professor of law and the 1939 Society Scholar in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies at the Dale E. Fowler School of Law at Chapman University.
Christopher Braham, JD 2013, was named partner at McDermott Will & Emery, LLP. He is a member of the USC Gould Alumni Association's Los Angeles Committee.
Milan L. Brandon, II, JD 2016, wrote and published two articles in The California Insurance Law Reporter and Insurance Litigation Reporter discussing strategies and considerations for practitioners in litigating commercial property insurance claims against insurance companies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brandon is an associate at LiMandri & Jonna LLP in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
Justin Bubenik, JD 2015, joined the board of directors of Urban Farm, a nonprofit farm promoting youth and community education.
Frank Gregory Casella, JD 2014, joined Electronic Arts as legal counsel in marketing and intellectual property. Previously, he served as an associate at Doniger/Burroughs PC.
Sabina Clorfeine, JD 1997, assistant general counsel at Southern California Gas Company, received the Los Angeles Business Journal's 2020 Leaders in Law In-House Counsel award in recognition of her accomplishments at SoCalGas and in her field, in addition to her contributions to the Los Angeles community.
Jennifer Cohen, JD 2014, joined Sklar Kirsch LLP as an associate in the firm’s corporate department.
Jaclyn "Jacki" Combs, JD 2020, has joined Maynard, Cooper & Gale's litigation practice in the firm's Mobile, Al. office. Combs was a USC Gould Merit Scholar and a member of the Hale Moot Court Honors program.
Kenneth Doran, JD 1981, chairman and managing partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP and USC Gould Board of Councilors lifetime member, will be honored Jan. 14 by Law.com The American Lawyer as the 2020 Distinguished Law Firm Leader as part of The American Lawyer Industry Awards.
Amber Finch, JD 2002, was recognized by The Los Angeles Business Journal as a 2020 Leader of Influence among litigators and trial lawyers.
Uri Fleming, JD 2004, was named head of business affairs for Unscripted Television at Amazon Studios. Fleming has been with Amazon Studios since 2016. Prior to joining Amazon Studios, Fleming was a partner with Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo LLP.
Carla Garrett, JD 1988, an administrative law judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings in the California Department of General Services, and David Swift, JD 2004, a partner at Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP, were appointed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom to serve in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Nicole Gates, JD 2013, was selected as the Private Company winner for the San Diego Business Journal's Leaders in Law Awards 2020. The awards recognize "outstanding legal professionals in the San Diego county law community." Gates is corporate counsel for Dr. Seuss Enterprises LP and a member of the USC Gould Alumni Associatio's San Diego Committee.
Tamerlin Godley, JD 1996, joined Paul Hastings LLP as a partner in their litigation department. Previously, she served as a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP.
Daniel M. Goldberg, JD 2011, was elected as partner in Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC's Los Angeles office. He will serve in the firm's privacy & data security group and advertising technology group.
Daniel Guggenheim, JD 2004, and Erin Natter, JD 2006, will join Mintz LevinPC's Los Angeles office as members.
Christine Harding Hart, JD 2011, a member of Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, LLC's litigation section, was selected for Mobile Bay's 2020 Class of 40 Under 40.
Nicole S. Houman, JD 2016, founded The Property People in Miami, Fla., a law firm with a mission to protect the personal and financial investment of property ownership. Prior to founding her own firm, Houman was an associate at Bressler, Amery & Ross, PC.
Dana Howard, JD 2011, was named partner and Emilie Zuccolotto, JD 2013, named counsel at Larson LLP.
Ayano Ichida, JD 1997, joined Miramax as executive vice president of compliance. Prior to joining Miramax, Ichida was general counsel at WDI International, Inc.
Nicholas Janizeh, JD 2015, was promoted to counsel at Tucker Ellis LLP.
Lauren McGrory Johnson, JD 2014, was promoted to counsel at Hueston Hennigan LLP.
Lauren W. Linderman, JD 2011, was elected partner at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, where she will serve in their business litigation practice group in Minneapolis.
Margaret M. Mann, JD 1981, chief bankruptcy judge in the Southern District of California received a community service award at the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges 2020 conference for her financial literacy and pro bono legal services work in the San Diego community. She also received the NCBJ President's Exception Service Award for organizing similar programs at the Monarch School for homeless children and at the Veteran's Village.
Hovanes Margarian, JD 2002, is founder and lead attorney of the Margarian Law Firm, which obtained final court approval on Kojikian et al. v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., one of the largest class action case recoveries in the automotive industry.
Nicole Martinez, JD 2012, chair of the USC Gould Alumni Association’s San Diego committee, was elevated to partner at Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP.
Lisa McLean, JD 1991, was installed Sept. 12 as president-elect of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles for 2020-2021.
Kelly McVey, JD 2017, was quoted in LAist about her new role as a staff attorney with the employment rights project at Bet Tzedek Legal Services.
Alexander "AJ" Merton, JD 2011, was named partner at the Washington, D.C. office of Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart & Sullivan LLP.
Michael S. Neumeister, JD 2010, has been promoted to partner in Business Restructuring and Reorganization at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP'sLos Angeles office. At the Gould School, he was a senior content editor for the Southern California Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.
Wendelyn "Wende" Nichols Julien, JD 2009, was appointed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors as executive director for the new Los Angeles County Probation Oversight Commission. In her new capacity, Julien will develop and oversee a civilian commission that will lead reforms in adult and juvenile probation, and manage the closing of juvenile halls and camps and the separation of juvenile probation from the adult probation department. Previously, she served as CEO of CASA of Los Angeles.
Thai Phan, JD 2017, was elected to the Santa Ana City Council, where she will serve as its first Vietnamese American member.
Deepak Singh, JD 2011, and Shannon Raj Singh, JD 2011, welcomed a baby girl, Safira Raj Singh in January. In November, Deepak was hired as assistant general counsel at Tekion, a technology startup in San Francisco, and Shannon recently joined Twitter as its human rights counsel.
Matthew Strugar, JD 2005, will be honored by the National Lawyers Guild this year for his role in a successful lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department for harmful policing activities as part of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition Legal Team.
Christina Trinh, JD 2015, joined Maschoff Brennan as an associate in the firm’s Orange County office.
J. Michael Vaughn JD 1987, joined Taylor English Duma LLP as a partner in the firm’s California corporate practice.
Dave Walsh, JD 1985, received the Alliance for Housing and Healing's annual Vanguard award on Oct. 13, which is presented to outstanding individuals and organizations that provide extraordinary service to the Alliance.
Susan Breshears Bayh, JD 1984. See In Memoriam: Susan Bayh, JD '84.
Alan V. Hager, JD 1969, 77, passed away Dec. 29, following a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Hager spent over four decades as a deputy attorney general, representing the State of California and the State Lands Commission in oil and gas and environmental matters.
He is remembered by his wife Kathie, daughter Anne, son Christopher, daughter-in-law Alison, and granddaughters Josephine and Silvia.
Colonel Philip Leslie Johnson, JD 1973, 81, USMC (Ret.), passed away peacefully at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., on Jan. 7.
Johnson was born in Beloit, WI in 1939 and attended Beloit Memorial High School.
In 1957, he entered Princeton University as one of four Black students in the entire undergraduate class. While there, he shared his passion for jazz as a DJ for the college radio station. He was also captain of the Navy ROTC rifle team. In 1961, he graduated with a degree in sociology.
Johnson became a Marine Corps officer in 1961 through the Naval ROTC program at Princeton. He served two tours in Vietnam in 1965-66 as a helicopter pilot and in 1968-69 as a C-130 pilot. He resigned his commission in 1970 to enter law school at USC, but remained in the Marine Corps Reserve until 1992, retiring as a colonel.
In his legal career, Johnson specialized in civil litigation with an emphasis on aviation defense, products liability, and general insurance defense. He was one of the original judges pro tem appointed to the State Bar Court of California in 1990. In 1996, he reorganized the Defense Research Institute’s (DRI) aerospace law committee and served as the chair of that committee.
Johnson contributed substantial time and effort to community organizations. He served terms on the board of directors for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, the board of directors of Legion Lex, and Princeton University’s annual giving campaign. In 2002, he was inducted into the Beloit Memorial High School Hall of Fame.
Johnson practiced law until January 2018. Throughout his life, he’d tell his family that he was "golden"-- he survived two tours of duty, racism throughout his life, and four bouts with cancer.
He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Kathy, children Celeste (Jonathan) Johnson Evans and Niko, and numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family and friends.
James McAdams, JD 1975, an attorney and member of the California Bar since 1975, passed away on June 4, 2020. McAdams was known for his groundbreaking work in maritime personal injury litigation and worker's compensation claims. Several of the appeals handled by McAdams on behalf of injured workers under the Longshore Act have resulted in the creation of new laws. McAdams attended the Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI and as an ensign was assigned to teach at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. There, he developed 12 courses in history and government, and was promoted to full lieutenant. After completing law school at USC, McAdams selected a legal career to protecting the rights of injury victims, initially with the Los Angeles firm of Magana, Cathcart, and Pierry, and eventually with his own partnership of Pierry & McAdams, PC in San Pedro, Calif. McAdams was very involved with the L.A. and Long Beach Legal Aid Foundations, including being a stalwart at the latter's renowned Grand Cru wine competition and tasting events which raised more than $1 million. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles or the charity of your choice.
Thomas S. Noble, JD 1971, 76, died on Nov. 29 following a long illness.
Born in Los Angeles, Noble graduated from Occidental College in 1965, where he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, playing a significant role in the fraternity's admitting its first black members. He was a member of Occidental’s football and rugby teams.
Noble was a successful real estate developer for over 40 years, primarily in the Coachella Valley. He was deeply involved in the local community and generously contributed to schools and charities.
Noble was a person others turned to for help and support. Stories of his kindness are many: the brother Marine at Quantico who made it through 10 mile runs by holding on to the back of Noble’s belt; the old friend who asked him to be the trustee for his children's estate; the homeless woman and her children whom he flew home to her family.
Upon hearing of Noble's death, many said that he was one of the finest men "they had ever known. He loved Abraham Lincoln, Ray Charles, and foreign films. He was known to be constant and fair, a man of his word.
Noble is survived by his wife of 54 years, Frances; his son, Ian (Michelle); his daughter, Maureen (Alejandro); his granddaughter, Beatriz Leonor Figueroa; and his brother, Frederick W. Noble.
Hon. Vincent Okamoto, JD 1973, 76, passed away on Sep. 27. Born in 1943 in the Poston, Ariz. internment camp, Judge Okamoto was the 10th child born to parents who emigrated from Japan. Eventually, Okamoto joined the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam, where he was wounded multiple times and earned distinction as a decorated military veteran. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and became the first Japanese American inducted into the Army Ranger Hall of Fame in Fort Benning, Ga. since World War II. Okamoto was featured in in the 2017 Ken Burns documentary, The Vietnam War. After leaving the Army, he enrolled at the USC Law School. Upon graduation, he served as deputy district attorney in Los Angeles and worked in private practice. He co-founded the Japanese American Bar Association; was elected to the Gardena City Council; served as a member of the board of the California Veterans Affairs Commission; and in 2002, was appointed by California Gov. Gray Davis to the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He also authored two books, the novel Wolfhound Samurai and Forged In Fire - The Saga of Hershey & Joe. Judge Okamoto leaves behind his wife Mitzi and son Darby.
James "Jim" Perzik (BS 1951, JD 1962), 91, died on Nov. 11 from complications of COVID-19. Born in Los Angeles, Perzik graduated from Los Angeles High School and went on to serve in the Navy during the Korean War. He became a double Trojan, earning an undergraduate degree in accounting prior to earning his JD at USC Gould while working as a CPA. Perzik later worked for Fine and Pope, where he was eventually elevated to partner, focusing on professional sports and business. The firm later became Fine, Perzik, and Friedman. In 1991, the Los Angeles Lakers hired him as general counsel. He is survived by his wife Judi, sons David and Jordan, and grandsons Tyler and Luca.
Karine Akopchikyan, JD 2015, has been named to the 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers 2020 Rising Stars list. Akopchikyan is a litigator in Stubbs Alderton & Markiles LLP’s business litigation practice group.
Outside of the office, Akopchikyan is committed to improving academic and social outcomes for students in her community. With roots as a credentialed public school teacher, Akopchikyan helped create the Pasadena Bar Association’s Mentorship Committee, which connects law students with seasoned attorneys.
Akopchikyan earned her JD from USC Gould School of Law and serves as the chair of the Los Angeles Chapter of the USC Gould Alumni Committee. While in law school, Akopchikyan was a senior executive editor of USC’s Business Law Advisor, a student-run publication focused on advisory articles relevant to the intersection of business and law. She also served as a judicial extern to the Hon. Ronald S.W. Lew of the United States District Court.
Stephen Blaker, JD 2011, Janani Rana, JD 2009 (pictured left), and Paige Smith, JD 2015 were named to The Best Lawyers in America (2021) Ones to Watch list. Blaker is an associate at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP; Rana is an associate at Minyard Morris LLP and chair of the USC Gould Alumni Association Orange County committee; and Smith is an associate at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth PC and also a member of the Orange County committee.
The Hon. Carlton G. Davis, JD 2003, has been appointed to serve as a judge in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Judge Davis previously served as a court commissioner at the Sacramento County Superior Court since 2017. He served as a deputy district attorney at the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office from 2006 to 2017, andserved as a deputy district attorney at the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office from 2003 to 2006.
Tracy Fehr, JD 2005, was named partner at Alexander Morrison. The firm is now Alexander Morrison + Fehr.
Amber Finch, JD 2002, has been selected as the new partner chair of Reed Smith LLP’s African American Business Inclusion Group, STAARS. Finch said of her selection, "I come into this role during a time when the Black community’s daily struggles with racial injustice and systemic racism is put on full view for the world to see. I am proud to carry the baton that has been passed to forge forward and onward, continuing to make an impact within our community at Reed Smith and beyond. I am grateful to serve here at a firm that recognizes our pain, frustration, and anger during this time, and is committed to speak up, denounce injustice, and take action to support our people and do its part to change the narrative. We have a lot to do. But I am inspired by our diverse leadership team’s genuine efforts and desire to make change."
Justin M. Goldstein, JD 1998, chair of the litigation practice group at Sklar Kirsh LLP, has been recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal with its LA500 Award. The annual award honors "the most influential, most powerful, and most impactful business professionals in the region." The list is made up of 500 executives and business leaders, trendsetters and thought leaders across all industries who drive economic growth in Los Angeles and Southern California. Goldstein was among fewer than 50 lawyers to be included in this elite group.
Goldstein, born in Los Angeles, earned his JD from the USC Gould School of Law and his BA from Brandeis University. He is a frequent author and guest lecturer at USC, UCLA, and Southwestern Law School on such topics as idea submission law, right of publicity, claims against talent agents and managers, alternative dispute resolution, and remedies for litigation misconduct.
Hon. Dana Gutierrez, BA 1993, JD 1997, was confirmed as a judge of the Superior Court of Guam. Nominated by Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, Judge Gutierrez will serve in family court. She joins Hon. Elyze Iriarte, JD 2001, who joined the court in 2016.
Snell & Wilmer LLP is pleased to announce that partner Steffi Gascón Hafen, JD 2010, has been selected for inclusion in the Super Lawyers 2020 Southern California Rising Stars list for Estate Planning and Probate.
Erika Ingram, JD 2016, and Sophie Sylla, 3L, have launched ARTS Justice, a new nonprofit providing art supplies and an at-home arts curriculum to youth from vulnerable communities in the Los Angeles area.
Elywill Zamora Paja, LLM 2018, was promoted to associate general counsel at WEBTOON. She is a member of the USC Gould Alumni Association's Los Angeles Committee.
Dean G. Rallis Jr., JD 1980, a veteran bankruptcy attorney with Hahn & Hahn LLP, will head the firm’s new bankruptcy practice. He earned his bachelor’s degree cum laude at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business and his JD from the USC Gould School of Law. He specializes in business reorganization, corporate insolvency, commercial and bankruptcy litigation, commercial transactions, and the acquisition of assets and businesses in bankruptcy court and out-of-court workouts.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced Friday that former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Conrad Mallett, Jr., JD 1979, will be the city's new deputy mayor. Mallett served in the Michigan State Supreme Court from 1990 through 1999 and was the chief justice in 1997 and 1998.
Most recently, he was the chief administrative officer at the Detroit Medical Center. He also sits on the board of directors for Lear Corporation in Southfield, Mich.
Mallett, 67, was born in Detroit and received his BA from UCLA and his JD from USC in 1979.
Rising Stars is a listing of lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. To be eligible for inclusion, a candidate must be 40 years old or younger or in practice either for 10 years or fewer. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research and peer nominations.
Hafen has an LLM in taxation and is certified as a specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law by the California Board of Legal Specialization. Her practice is concentrated in tax, trust, and estate matters with an emphasis in estate planning, business succession planning, charitable planning, and trust and probate administration and litigation, as well as state and local taxation. Hafen represents clients in court and in front of various tax agencies from the Internal Revenue Service to the county assessor. She earned a JD from the US C Gould School of Law.
Coby Marie Turner, JD 2009, was named a partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP in the labor and employment department, where she represents employers in state and federal courts nationwide, primarily on wage and hour issues, and provide counseling on an array of employment issues.
Rosezetta Upshaw, JD 2011, president of the Black Women Lawyers' Association of Los Angeles, was recently named to the National Bar Association's 40 Under 40 List. The awards recognize the nation’s top 40 Black lawyers under the age of 40 who exemplify a broad range of high achievement in the legal field, including in advocacy, innovation, vision, leadership and overall legal and community involvement.
Ali Abugheida, JD 2012, was promoted to counsel in the Los Angeles office of Buckley LLP. Abugheida represents corporate and individual clients in complex civil litigation and government enforcement matters.
Steven Atlee, JD 1990, joined the Office of the General Counsel at Caltech as its new deputy general counsel. Atlee’s key responsibilities include managing all litigation, overseeing day-to-day operations at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), supervising the office’s practice groups and interacting with senior management across campus and JPL.
Allison Brightman, JD 1992, has been elevated to executive vice president of business affairs and operations at CBS Television Studios. Brightman has been with CBS for nearly 14 years.
Matt Cave, JD 2011, co-founded Kibler Fowler & Cave LLP, a boutique law firm focused on litigation for entertainment, business, real estate and financial services.
David Clark, JD 2010, was elected as partner in the Orange County office of Haynes and Boone, LLP. Clark is a trial attorney who helps clients solve complex business disputes, with a particular focus on licensing disputes and other business litigation, along with areas such as patent litigation and trade secrets.
Monisha Coehlo, JD 2009, joined AlvaradoSmith as a partner in their Los Angeles office. Her practice focuses on business and commercial litigation, real estate litigation, and cross border U.S.-India legal matters. Previously, she served as the head of International Practice – India for ADLI Law Group.
Mark Foster, JD 1998, has been elected to partner in the Orange County office of Snell & Wilmer. Foster’s practice is concentrated on the representation of institutional owners, operators and developers, as well as financial institutions and investors.
Steffi Hafen, JD 2010, a partner at Snell and Wilmer, will co-lead the firm’s new San Diego office. Hafen, who holds an LLM in taxation, is a certified specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law by the California Board of Legal Specialization. Her practice is concentrated in tax, trust, and estate matters with an emphasis in estate planning, business succession planning, charitable planning, and trust and probate administration and litigation, as well as state and local taxation.
Maria Hall, JD 2003, will be recognized by the National Lawyers Guild-LA (NLG-LA) at its 2020 Annual Awards in August. Hall, an executive board member of the guild, is a solo practice lawyer whose work focuses on civil rights, environmental justice and tenants’ rights, as well as pro bono activist legal defense. She has been active with many local organizations, serving as a trustee of the Mexican American Bar Foundation, co-president of NLG-LA, and attorney development director of the LA Incubator Consortium, which supports new solo attorneys committed to closing the access to justice gap.
Christine Harding Hart, JD 2011, was named a member (partner) at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC. Hart's practice is based in Mobile, Alabama, and focuses on civil litigation with an emphasis on higher education and constitutional law matters.
Nathan Hardy, JD 2015, co-authored an opinion piece that was published in the Los Angeles Times, titled "Trump has packed the courts with right-wing ideologues. Democrats, what’s your plan?" Hardy is a co-chair of the Los Angeles Lawyer chapter of the American Constitution Society.
Alan Kang, JD 2004, the plaintiff’s attorney in a lawsuit against Rancho Palos Verdes’ Terranea Resort, was quoted in the Daily Breeze newspaper about the case.
Brien R. Kelley, JD 2000, a partner in Sklar Kirsh’s real estate practice, was named by the Los Angeles Business Journal to its list of "Top Minority Attorneys in L.A." While at USC Gould, Kelley was a Legion Lex Merit Scholar, vice president of the Black Law Students Association and a member of the Hale Moot Court Honors Program.
Brandon Kennedy, JD 2012, joined the U.S. Department of Justice's International Trade Field Office as a trial attorney representing the government at the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York. He was previously employed at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Justin F. Mello, JD 2019, joined the Orange County office of Snell & Wilmer as an associate for the commercial litigation group.
Steven Mindel, JD 1985, was named by Super Lawyers as one of the "Top 10 Super Lawyers in Southern California." Mindel, a certified family law specialist, is the managing partner at Feinberg Mindel Brandt & Klein, LLP.
Laura Ratcliffe, JD 2011, joined the Los Angeles office of Hanson Bridgett LLP as an attorney. Ratcliffe represents a variety of public and private entities in real estate, environmental, water and municipal law matters, and is experienced in various aspects of commercial and industrial leasing transactions, asset purchase agreements and other corporate transactions.
Vanessa Foltyn Roman, JD 2011, has been promoted to partner in the Los Angeles office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Roman advises financial institutions, borrowers, distributors and independent production companies on the production, financing and distribution of film and television projects. She also works with clients to address issues related to the rapidly changing landscape of the entertainment industry.
Christiane Roussell, JD 2006, began a new role as vice president of employee relations at Sony Pictures Entertainment. Roussell is also a lecturer in law at USC Gould.
Emily Shroeder, JD 2010, was elected as partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Shroeder has defended employers in state and federal courts on a range of employment and wage and hour matters.
Alison Spirito, JD 2017, published an article titled "The Collaboration Generation Will Make Good Family Lawyers" in the January 2020 issue of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine.
Kristen C. Vine, JD 1996, was elevated to a director of Jackson & Campbell, PC, in Washington, D.C. Vine’s practice focuses on the defense of complex insurance coverage litigation relating to environmental and toxic torts claims.
Laine Wagenseller, JD 1993, was selected as a Super Lawyer for the sixth consecutive year. Super Lawyers Magazine features outstanding lawyers who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in more than 70 practice areas.
Stephanie Ward, JD 2010, joined Starz as the vice president of business and legal affairs. Previously, Ward was the vice president of business and legal affairs for 44 Blue Productions.
Jennifer Yee, JD 2012, was elected to partner in the Phoenix office of Snell & Wilmer. She was also recognized as a finalist for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce’s ATHENA Awards. ATHENA finalists are chosen for excellence in business and leadership, dedication to the community and support and mentorship of other women.
Roye Zur, JD 2010, a partner at Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside LLP, has been chosen to lead the firm’s new bankruptcy and restructuring practice group. Zur’s expertise includes representing clients in bankruptcy and out-of-court restructuring transactions, bankruptcy and commercial litigation, including through appeal. In addition, he has extensive experience representing entities and individuals in the entertainment industry.
George Howard Baechtold, LLB 1959, passed away on Dec. 7, 2019, in Laguna Beach.
Baechtold was born in Granite City, Illinois, on Aug. 19, 1928, and was raised in Collinsville during the Great Depression and World War II. He graduated from Elmhurst College in 1950 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics. After college, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and became an electrician. He was sent to officer candidate school and served in a number of roles during the Korean War aboard the USS Boyd DD 544. Baechtold left the Navy as a full lieutenant.
After the Navy, Baechtold attended USC Law School and received his JD in 1959. He practiced law in the San Fernando Valley for approximately 15 years, specializing in wills, contracts, probate, real estate and corporate law.
In the mid-70s Baechtold found his true calling. A friend from California State University Northridge asked if he would teach a class in the business law department. Baechtold spent the next 21 years at the university and retired as a full professor. Helping students was his passion.
Baechtold retired to Laguna Beach, California, and is survived by Joe Baechtold-Moreno, Christie Schuetz, Laura Baker, Glenn Schuetz and numerous other cousins.
John "Steven" Hartwell, LLB 1964, was born in Huntington Park, California, on July 18, 1938, and passed away on Oct. 19, 2019, in San Diego after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.
Hartwell attended USC Law School where he received his JD. Following graduation, he joined the Peace Corps, where he served in both Kenya and Colombia.
After returning to the U.S., Hartwell became a legal aid attorney in San Diego before finding his true passion as a professor. He taught at California Western School of Law until he found a home with the University of San Diego in 1980, where he taught for 28 years.
Hartwell is survived by his wife, Sherry, his daughters, Laura and Elena, two grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.
Robert "Bob" Peterson, LLB 1959, 86, passed away on March 14, 2020. Peterson his twin sister, Marian, were born in Pasadena and raised in Sierra Madre. He graduated from Pacific Union College in 1956 and continued on to USC Law School, where he was associate editor of the USC Law Review. Upon graduation in 1959, he was appointed Order of the Coif.
Peterson was admitted to the bar by the California Supreme Court in 1960. He practiced business law and tried civil and criminal cases as well. He was active in his community, providing legal advisory services to the Southern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and serving as an active member of the board of directors of the White Memorial Hospital for nearly 50 years. He also was a member of the board of the Adventist Health System for 18 years.
Bob enjoyed playing the trombone, fishing, sailing, going on walks, and reading. He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Sandra; two children, Karen Fearon of Chico, California, and Steven Peterson of Arlington, Massachusetts; four grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
Anthony Joseph Rossi, LLB 1960, was born on Oct. 11, 1932, in Los Angeles and passed away peacefully on Dec. 8, 2019, surrounded by the love of his family.
Rossi will be remembered for his zest for life, his humor and his love of family, food, wine and travel. He was born into an Italian immigrant family; his father left Italy at age 16 and came to the U.S. through Ellis Island and settled in Los Angeles where he worked as an ornamental plasterer.
Rossi attended Cathedral High School in Los Angeles and Los Angeles City College. He put himself through USC as an undergraduate and law student, and was president of his law school class. After earning his JD from USC, Rossi received a master's degree in law at New York University.
Rossi's real estate career spanned 55 years and included, at age 72, becoming a founding partner of Kennerly, Lamishaw and Rossi LLP. Prior to this, he served as "of counsel" with Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP, and was a principal in First Financial Group and American Beauty Development. Rossi also served as founder and chairman of the board of American International Bank, and as member of the advisory board of United Mizrahi Bank.
Rossi devoted a great deal of time to numerous charitable and community activities, including serving as a director and secretary of the University Club of Los Angeles and as a member of the Board of Trustees of Cathedral High School.
Despite his success, he was never arrogant; he was always gracious, kind and cheerful. He never forgot his humble roots. He truly had an inspiring zest for life, learning and adventure as well as a deep, abiding love for his family and friends. Whether he was skiing around the world, enjoying the find of a new restaurant, exploring gourmet wines or simply playing a game of tennis, Rossi approached it all with joy and limitless passion and spirit. Sharing these experiences with friends and family made him even happier.
Rossi loved being a husband, life partner, father, son, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, and true friend. Even in his golden years his fervor for life and the love he gave to those around him could not be quenched. He lived life to its fullest.
Rossi is predeceased by his wife, Marilyn Moss Rossi. He will be deeply missed by his three children, Jill Smith (Brian), Joe Rossi, and Laurel Mauch (Kevin); his brother, Bob Rossi (Georgia), and his sister, Christine Lewis (Lynn), and by his wonderful life partner of the last eleven years, Grace Latt, and her children, Rae Latt (Kevin Sullivan) and Jonathan Latt. He also found great joy in his 11 grandchildren, Kara Walker (Nick), Brit Hines (Billy), Callie Smith, Connor Smith, Jerry Rossi, Alexia Rossi, Christina Rossi, Brendan Mauch, Danielle Mauch, Sean Mauch and Luke Mauch, and his two great-grandchildren, Leon Walker and Henry Hines.
Kenneth C. Ryken, JD 1991, entered peacefully into rest in Pleasanton, California, on Jan. 5, 2020. He was 54 years old.
Born April 27, 1965, in Walnut Creek, to parents Richard "Dick" and Deanna Ryken, he graduated from Hayward High School in 1983. Ryken went on to study at Chabot College, San Francisco State and USC, where he received his law degree.
He first practiced with Sedgwick LLP, and joined the Alameda County District Attorney's office in 1996, where he worked as finance director and then assistant district attorney until his passing. He was a member of the 100 Club, Hayward Rotary Club and on the board of the Hayward Area Historical Society. Outside of work, Ryken was a music enthusiast who especially loved the bass guitar. He collected and taught himself to play not only bass but also banjo, accordion, bagpipe and acoustic guitars.
Ryken is survived by his wife of 17 years, Jean Luevano; children, Jackson and Lauren; grandson, Wesley; parents, Dick and Deanna; siblings, Tim Ryken and Kathy Vaughn; and many loving extended family members and cherished friends.
Arthur Alfio Silveri, LLB 1949, of Northridge, California, passed away Oct. 23, 2019 at age 101. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Caron Caines Smith, JD 1990, 60, an attorney who served at Neighborhood Legal Services Pacoima, passed away on March 23, 2020. Smith was the first member of her family to graduate from college, earning a degree in theater arts from California State University of Northridge. She worked as a high school English teacher and then applied to law school, with an eye towards public interest law.
Her first job after graduation was with NLSLA, which was called San Fernando Valley Legal Services in 1990, when she joined as a family law attorney. She developed and implemented paternity and dissolution workshops, and created domestic violence clinics based in four courthouses. She was a prolific writer, and developed much of the domestic violence training and education materials for the program. She also was instrumental in establishing the first pro bono program for NLSLA, developing trainings for pro bono attorneys and law students who assisted in the clinics.
Smith led NLSLA’s first ventures into community economic development and pushed for the funding and construction of a tenant center at San Fernando Gardens, a low-income housing complex. She was instrumental in developing NLSLA’s Self Help Legal Access Centers. She left NLSLA in 2008 to become a family law case coordinator for the Ventura County Superior Court, returning to NLSLA in 2012 to direct a variety of program-wide systems for delivery of legal services.
Smith is survived by her children, Samuel, 16, and Adrianna, 12, as well as her niece Jamie and her family – her husband and two sons, Benjamin, 8 and Jaxon, 3. She is also survived by her three older brothers Ralph, Danny, Brodie, and younger sister Cheryl.
Jeffrey Alan Babener, JD 1973, 71, passed away March 16. He was a principal attorney in the law firm of Babener & Associates in Portland, Ore., representing foreign and domestic multi-level marketing companies. Babener is survived by his wife, Roz Babener; children, Rebecca, Jeremy and Rachel; and two grandchildren, Sam and Ani.
Marvin Berman, LLB 1951, 69, passed away on May 9. He is survived by his wife Cookie Wapner-Berman; daughter Deidre (Michael) Karp; son Joel; and brother Bernard (Toby).
Joann Porter Toll, BA 1948, JD 1958, passed away June 2. Born in Los Angeles, Toll was raised in the Silver Lake area and graduated from Marshall High School. Toll initially worked in the field of social work, and following graduation from the USC Law School went on to hold positions at Paramount Pictures and PepsiCo. Later, she became a deputy district attorney for the County of Angeles, where she served for 20 years before retiring. Toll was an avid traveler and arts patron. She is survived by her three children, Erich of Boulder, Col., Tristina of Irvine, Calif. and Heidi of Palos Verdes, Calif.; six grandchildren; and four step-grandchildren.
Cara Adams, JD 2017, joined Warner Bros. Entertainment as music counsel. Prior to this role, Adams was an associate at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.
Daniel Amato, JD 2013, was elected to partner in the New York Office of Kirkland & Ellis. Amato represents corporate borrowers and private equity clients in connection with complex secured financing transactions.
Elizabeth Atlee, JD 1993, senior vice president and deputy general counsel at CBRE Group, Inc., was named one of the 50 Most Powerful Latinas in Corporate America by the Association of Latino Professionals for America in collaboration with Fortune magazine.
Alison Brandon, JD 2004, joined Westlake Village-based law firm Nevers, Palazzo, Packard, Wildermuth, & Wynner PC as a corporate associate. Brandon brings significant experience in corporate law, primarily on equity and debt financing transactions, private placements, venture capital investments, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, company formation, securities and general business matters.
Dave Carothers, JD 1985, a partner in the San Diego office of Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP, was named as one of the 2020 Best Lawyers in America for his work in employment law. Carothers represents employers throughout California as lead trial counsel in complex cases such as class actions, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, breach of contract, ADA, wage and hour violations and discrimination.
Kanika Corley, GCRT 2015, was featured in National Law Journal's list of sports and entertainment trailblazers, which spotlights a handful of individuals who are agents of change in their field of law. Corley has a broad-based commercial litigation, entertainment and emerging technology practice.
Cornelia Dai, JD 1999, became a name partner at Hadsell Stormer Renick and Dai LLP. In this role, Dai will continue to bring leadership and expertise to the firm's class actions and individual employment cases.
Donald Davis, JD 1969, authored the Judge Series, five mystery novels that dig deep into American social issues in the 21st century.
Mandana Dayani, JD 2007, was featured in the article, "Female Disruptors: How Mandana Dayani is shaking up voting and civic engagement" on ThriveGlobal.com.
The Los Angeles Business Journal selected Stanley L. Friedman, JD 1985, as the 2019 "Healthcare Trusted Advisor of the Year."
Kari Gibson, JD 2013, joined Fisher Phillips as an associate in its Irvine office. Gibson defends companies in all areas of employment litigation and advises on general employment and compliance issues.
Brent M. Giddens, JD 1987, a partner in the Los Angeles office of Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP, was named as one of the 2020 Best Lawyers in America for his litigation, labor and employment practice. Giddens has served as lead trial counsel in numerous state and federal proceedings over the past 30 years, and has extensive experience in successfully defending wage/hour class actions, wrongful termination/discrimination lawsuits, as well as NLRB trials, collective bargaining and employment arbitration.
Bart Green, JD 2008, joined the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California as an assistant U.S. attorney in the civil division.
Amy E. Hargreaves, JD 2009, was promoted to partner at Latham & Watkins LLP in San Diego. Hargreaves is a member of the litigation and trial department. Her practice focuses on white-collar litigation and investigations for health care industry clients. She specializes in internal investigations, responses to government subpoenas or investigations, self-disclosures, compliance programs development and referral source contracting.
Stanley Heyman JD, 1984, joined the Los Angeles office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP as a partner. He continues his practices in tax and estate planning matters.
Neeru Jindal, JD 2004, joined the Los Angeles office of Blank Rome LLP as an associate in the corporate litigation group. Jindal concentrates her practice on complex business litigation, representing financial institutions both locally and nationally before state and federal trial and appellate courts.
Kyle Joseph, JD 2014, joined the Federal Aviation Administration in El Segundo as a labor and employment attorney. He was previously employed at the United States Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C.
Sven Kaludzinski, JD 2007, was appointed as general counsel and corporate secretary for Aura, a mission-driven financial technology company that offers affordable loans to families. Kaludzinski will oversee Aura's legal, regulatory and compliance matters.
Craig Kirby, JD 1986, was selected to serve as president of the RV Industry Association by its board of directors. Kirby, a 25-year veteran of the organization, has operated as interim president since May, and most recently served as senior vice president of government relations and general counsel. In this role, Kirby led several of the organization's most prominent member service divisions including federal and state government relations, legal and industry standards, and the organization's international business teams.
Chuntae Mathis, MDR, 2018, became a program coordinator with Kids Managing Conflict, the charitable and educational arm of the Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA). Her role includes mediating and coordinating special projects within the community mediation program, as well as coordinating youth peer mediation programs and offering restorative justice trainings in several Los Angeles area schools.
Mike Mikawa, JD 2017, joined the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's Technology Task Force, which is part of the Bureau of Competition in Washington, D.C. The task force monitors competition in U.S. technology markets, investigating any potential anticompetitive conduct and taking enforcement actions when warranted.
Gary Nemer, JD 1971, was appointed to the board of directors for Financial Gravity Companies Inc. From 2016 to present, Nemer has served as a board member and chairman of the board of directors of Presidential Brokerage Inc., an investment advisory and wealth management firm. Nemer also serves on the board of directors of Eqis Capital Management, an investment advisory and wealth management firm.
Omar Noureldin, JD 2014, joined the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP as a litigation associate. Noureldin is also a lecturer in law at USC Gould where he teaches constitutional theory, constitutional litigation and judicial decision-making.
Kevin C. Reyes, JD 2011, was promoted to counsel in the San Diego office of Latham & Watkins LLP. Reyes is a member of the corporate department that represents public and private companies in a variety of corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, venture financings, public offerings, private placements of equity and debt securities and venture financings, as well as securities compliance and corporate governance matters.
Tricia J. Taylor, JD 2004, was appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Taylor served as a deputy district attorney at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office since 2007. She was a law clerk in the Law Offices of Marvyn B. Gordon and at the Children's Law Center in 2004.
Dilveer Vahali, JD 2013, was elected to partner in the Los Angeles office of Kirkland & Ellis. Vahali concentrates his practice in mergers and acquisitions, private equity and corporate finance transactions.
Catherine Karayan Wilbur, JD 2011, joined Rodriguez, Horii, Choi & Cafferata LLP, a boutique law firm in downtown Los Angeles, as a senior associate. She specializes in wealth transfer taxes, estate planning and estate administration.
Angela J. Yu, JD 2008, joined the litigation department of Miller Starr Regalia (MSR). Prior to joining MSR, Yu was of counsel in the San Francisco office of Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley, where her practice focused on business and commercial litigation.
Catherine Karayan Wilbur, JD 2011, and her husband welcomed their first child, Henry Augustus Wilbur, in March 2019.
Michael Bordy, JD 1986, and Susan Montgomery, JD 1985, were married in Los Angeles on July 7, 2019.
Eugene "Gene" Wesley Arant, JD 1949, 98, passed away on July 18. Born in Oregon, Arant earned a degree in electrical engineering from Oregon State University and went on to serve in the U.S. Army. He earned his JD from the USC Law School and practiced patent law in California for more than 60 years. Arant is survived by his wife of more than 67 years, Juanita Flowers Arant, three sons, and three grandchildren.
Wiley Douglas Bunn, an 81-year resident of La Canada Flintridge, passed away peacefully at age 90 at on Aug. 8, 2019.
Bunn leaves behind his wife of 68 years, Marilyn Granger; their children Barbara, Douglas (Deette), David (Kellie) and Carolyn (Steven Nahigian); 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild; his brother Robert (Ardis); his sister-in-law Elinor; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Bunn was born in Glendale on July 22, 1929, to Thomas and Ellen Bunn. He attended La Canada Elementary School, Eliot Junior High and Pasadena City College. He met his wife Marilyn on the first day of school at Eliot, thus beginning their lifetime relationship.
During his school years, Bunn spent many summers in commercial salmon fishing in Washington with his soon-to-be in-laws, Warren and Ruth Granger. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America and enjoyed the Sierra and San Gabriel mountains.
After graduating from USC Law School in 1953, Bunn joined his father and brother at their law practice in downtown Los Angeles. In later years, his practice moved to Pasadena, where his son David joined him in 1985.
Bunn and Marilyn lived for a short time in Pasadena before moving to La Canada Flintridge, where Marilyn worked as a kindergarten teacher and their four children were born and raised. As newlyweds, they attended Trinity Methodist Church in Los Angeles until joining Lake Avenue Congregational Church in Pasadena.
Bunn had many volunteer responsibilities in addition to the practice of law. He served on the board of Far East Broadcasting Co. for 40 years and as chairman for 13 years. He also served in numerous capacities at Lake Avenue Church, was a member of the board of directors at Pasadena Christian School and was active in the Christian Business Men's Society and the Christian Legal Society. He was also a member of the California State Bar and Pasadena Bar Association. From 1970-82, he served as president of the Coast Television Broadcasting Corp. (Channel 22, Los Angeles).
Bunn enjoyed his home in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and his second home on Lummi Island, Washington. He was always interested in the lives of others, especially his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He enjoyed history and sharing his life experiences and knowledge with his family. As a Christian, Bunn believed that he and his family in Christ would be united again.
William Camil, 92, a principal founder of the city of Santa Fe Springs, California, passed away on Aug. 9, 2019.
Born on April 2, 1927, near New York City, Camil arrived in Boyle Heights as a child during the Great Depression. He attended Roosevelt High School, UCLA and USC law school with the help of the G.I. Bill following World War II.
In the early 1950s, Camil started a family and bought a house in Santa Fe Springs, which was then unincorporated. He helped to write the new city's first charters and became one of its first mayors and council members.
Camil's greatest joy was his blended family with Anne, his wife of 45 years. When they married, Camil had three children and Anne had four. Spending time with family and sharing travel and adventure with Anne as his best friend completed his well-lived life.
Richard R. "Dick" Clements, LLB 1960, passed away on Aug. 1, 2019.
In life and in the legal profession, Richard "Dick" Clements was always a towering man, armed with a very quick wit and nearly always wearing a smile.
Clements was born on Aug. 8, 1932, to Richard and Gladys Clements of Long Beach. He graduated from Wilson High School in 1950 and with a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Redlands in 1954. He was a class and fraternity officer of Phi Delta Phi fraternity and a varsity letterman in swimming and football.
Drafted by the Army during the Korean War, Clements served in active duty in Germany from 1955 through 1956. During this time, he became a Christian and his deeply held convictions would guide his moral compass for the rest of his life.
In 1958, Clements met Karen Broman, the love of his life; they were married in August 1959 and had three beautiful daughters: Cindy, Kristy and Jennie.
In 1960, Clements earned his law degree from USC and was admitted to the bar in 1961. Clements became president of the Lawyers Club and was a member of the board of trustees for the Bar Association and the board of directors for United Way. He was also a founding member of The Cypress Church (Evangelical Free Church of America), a board member for the Long Beach Rescue Mission and the Long Beach Servicemen's Center, a charter member of the trustees for California Lutheran University and a member of The Gideons International.
Clements was preceded in death by his father, Richard Clements Sr.; his mother, Gladys Clements and his brother, John Clements. He is survived by his wife Karen and his three daughters.
Dolores Ward Dicks, LLB 1961, passed away on Aug. 10, 2019.
Dolores Ward Dicks was born on Sunday Oct. 4, 1931, in a rural area of Tustin, Calif., when orange and walnut groves were still abundant. A self-taught "tomboy" she loved riding her bike for miles, then climbing her favorite tree to read for hours.
A lover of learning, Dicks always maintained high grades, which allowed her to earn a Sears Roebuck scholarship that helped her to attend USC Law School. Soon after graduating and interning, she opened her own civil law practice in Long Beach.
She met the love of her life, Edward Dicks, and they were married soon after. Years later, they built a home in Adamsville, Utah. Both enjoyed wide-open spaces, mountain views and a need to help others; they soon became members of the Beaver County Search & Rescue Team. Although she lost her beloved Ed, Ward stayed at the ranch for seven additional years fulfilling the dream they had shared of making it a working ranch.
In 1985, Dicks moved to Leeds, Utah, where she spent the last 30 years. She made many new friends in Leeds and served on the Leeds Planning Commission. For Dicks, southern Utah was her home and even though she travelled the world with her sister Dorthy Mauk, there was nowhere else she would rather be.
Dicks was preceded in death by her parents, her niece Shannon Mauk and her love Edward. She is survived by her devoted sister Dorthy, her nephew David Frame and her great nephew Joel Steckel.
Dicks told her sister, "I've had a hell of a good life but now I'm ready to go." She will be missed but never forgotten and made so many people's lives better through her generosity and caring.
Herb Hafif, LLB 1956, a veteran lawyer renowned for his creative approach to handling cases, his mentorship of several leading trial attorneys in the region and his philanthropy, died on Oct. 20, 2019. He was 89.
Hafif was born in Philadelphia in 1929, but was raised in New Jersey. After his father's death when he was six, Hafif's mother struggled to make ends meet and put him in foster care for several years. This would later form the basis for his charity.
Hafif graduated from Claremont High School and received scholarships to attend Chaffey College, Pomona College and later USC Law School. His spirit of entrepreneurship shone through as early as his college days in Claremont when he started a painting company.
Hafif established his law practice in Claremont in 1958 and earned a reputation for taking on cases against cities and large corporations. In addition to representing clients in the courtroom, Hafif knew the importance of talking to legislators and advocating for change. He was also a pioneer with whistleblower and class action lawsuits.
In 1960, Hafif opened the Royal Tahitian restaurant on Riverside Drive between Vineyard and Archibald avenues in Ontario with his friend and restaurateur Walter Boldig. The two also owned Walter's Coffee Shops in both Ontario and Claremont and a Mexican restaurant, Casa de Mayo, in Rancho Cucamonga.
Hafif was also as a showman and was often the emcee for the Royal Tahitian garden concerts, which began back in 1964. The concerts included acts such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, the Four Tops, James Brown, Bobby Darin and Ray Charles.
Hafif ran for California governor in 1974 and placed seventh to Jerry Brown for the Democratic nomination.
In the early 1980s, Hafif and his wife Kay started the Hafif Family Foundation, which has contributed more than $20 million to charitable causes including thousands of scholarships. The foundation has donated to health clinics for the underserved, charities that serve the homeless and hungry, drug rehabilitation programs, park maintenance programs and gang intervention efforts.
Hafif is survived by his wife of 57 years, Kay; his sons, Greg and Ruston; and four grandchildren.
Donald William Higbee, LLB 1962, loving husband and father, entered eternal life at age 88 in Fallbrook, Calif., on July 30, 2019.
Higbee was born on Jan. 7, 1931, in Ada, Okla. He joined the U.S. Army in 1946 and served a year-and-a-half in Europe. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War and was shot twice, earning him a Purple Heart and honorable discharge.
Higbee returned to Fallbrook and married Joan Diamond on Valentine’s Day; they had four children: Bradley, Carter, Phillip and Lisa. He graduated from USC with a BA (History) in 1957 and a JD from the law school in 1962. He was admitted as an attorney to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1969 and spent most of his career at Interstate Electronics, rising to the position of vice president and corporate secretary.
After living in Anaheim, Salt Lake City and Silverado Canyon, Higbee returned to Fallbrook with his family in 1970 to run for district judge. He and Joan continued living in Fallbrook until his passing, spending summers in retirement at La Playa Marina & Resort in Lakeside, Ore.
Higbee was preceded in death by his son Carter; parents James and Nannie; brother Jim; sisters Christine, Lorraine, Opal and Faleta; and many dear friends. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Joan; and his children Bradley (Sharon) Higbee, Phillip (Nancy) Higbee, Lisa (Gregory) Boylan; as well as his daughter-in-law Angel Higbee of Beaverton, Ore.; seven grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Tom Holliday passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Aug. 22, 2019.
Holliday was born in 1948 at Camp Hood, Texas, home of First Cavalry. His father was a colonel in the U.S. Army and he moved posts, living in Texas, Virginia, Arizona, Japan and finally California, finishing high school at the San Miguel School in San Diego. Holliday attended Stanford University on a football scholarship and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He attended USC law school serving as executive editor of the Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif.
Following graduation, Holliday joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, specializing as a criminal trial lawyer for 35 years until his retirement in 2009. He was co-chair of the firm's business crimes and investigations group. Holliday received the "Criminal Defense Lawyer of the Year" award from the Century City Bar Association and was listed among the "Best Criminal Defense Lawyers" in the U.S. until his retirement. He was a co-author and contributing editor of numerous publications during his career.
Holliday served on the Board of Children's Law Center, the American Air Museum in Duxford, England, and the board of the American Foundation for the Imperial War Museum in London. He was also a member of the California Club, Chancery Club, Pacific Council on International Affairs, International Churchill Society and the Rotary Club of Beverly Hills.
Holliday and his wife Marci were best friends, gracious hosts and world travelers who spent treasured time with family and friends. Holliday had a passion for learning and reading and was recently accepted into a master's program in World War II studies. He loved mentoring and inspiring the young and touched countless lives. He was humble, charming, thoughtful and a romantic with a huge heart. His biggest joy was spending time with his family and friends and being "Gramps."
He is survived by Marci Merliss Holliday, his devoted wife; Devon Holliday Pothier (Jeremy), his daughter; Thomas "Trey" Holliday (Jenny), his son; Jessica Merliss, his stepdaughter; four brothers and five grandchildren (Chase, Charlotte, Grace, Luke and Jack).
William S. Johnstone Jr., BA 1952, JD 1957, beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, passed away on Oct. 29 after a long and brave battle with Parkinson's disease.
Johnstone was born in Glendale on Jan. 27, 1931. He attended Glendale High School and graduated from USC in 1952. Following his time as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1954, Johnstone received his JD from USC in 1957. He joined Hahn & Hahn LLP in Pasadena in 1957, became partner and stayed there until his retirement in 2017.
Johnstone was deeply devoted to his faith, his family, his friends and his USC Trojans. His greatest pride and joy was always his family. Being an avid outdoorsman, Johnstone shared with them his love of fishing, hiking, camping and skiing in both the Rocky Mountains and the high Sierra, along with swimming and snorkeling in Hawaii.
Johnstone was an active member of the community, volunteering his time and expertise to many organizations. By example, Johnstone taught these lessons: work hard and persevere, be fair and honest, be helpful and always look for the good in others, be appreciative and respectful of all, live a life of integrity, and leave every place you go a better place than when you arrived. In his life here on Earth, he did just that.
Johnstone is survived by his wife, Lynne, daughters Jerrilynn Kline and Jacquelyn Ratto, grandchildren and many other family members.
Conrad Lee Klein, LLM 1952, died peacefully in his sleep at home, surrounded by members of the family on July 30, 2019. He was 90 years old.
Klein grew up in New York and attended college and law school at NYU, completing both in six years. He then received an LLM degree at USC Gould, after moving out west to Los Angeles.
Klein first practiced law as a U.S. Air Force JAG officer during the Korean War, followed by several years as a lawyer for the Attorney General's office for the State of California. He was a successful attorney for over 50 years, mostly in private practice with a focus on labor law and real estate transactions.
In his 70s, he continued working full time as a trustee and LLC manager for the Mark Hughes Trust. He was also instrumental in forming the Mark Hughes Family Foundation and continued as the president of its board through his 90th birthday. It gave him tremendous pleasure to be involved with a foundation so devoted to helping children in Los Angeles.
Klein and his wife Joan were married for 56 years, sharing in daily discussions of politics and legal issues, tennis matches at their home court in Sherman Oaks, world travel and enjoying time with their children and grandchildren. The family will long remember Klein’s his deep love and concern for his wife and family, his quick wit and analytical mind.
Klein was pre-deceased by his parents, Julius and Elsie Klein, and one grandchild. He is survived by his loving wife, the retired Appellate Court Justice Joan Dempsey Klein; his brother, Richard Klein; five adult children/stepchildren and eight grandchildren.
Lisa Litwiller, BA 1985, JD 1991, was born on Oct. 20, 1962, in Los Angeles and passed away on Oct. 3, 2019, in Newport Coast, California.
Litwiller taught civil procedure, California civil procedure and several other law subjects to hundreds of Chapman University law students over the years. She joined the Dale E. Fowler School of Law in 1998 and was beloved by her students and colleagues alike. Her scholarship focused on various aspects of civil litigation and appeared in journals such as the Rutgers Law Review, University of San Francisco Law Review and Chapman Law Review.
Prior to joining the Fowler School of Law, Litwiller was an associate attorney at O'Melveny & Myers and then a partner at Berger, Kahn, Shafton, Moss, Figler, Simon & Gladstone. Her legal practice focused on large, complex civil litigation.
Charles "Chuck" Lusin, 86, of Murrieta, passed away with his family by his side on Nov. 7, 2019.
Lusin was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Dec. 27, 1932, to Charles F. and Mary S. Lusin and was the oldest of three children. He received a degree in political science from California State University, Long Beach, and his law degree from USC.
Lusin joined the California State Bar as an attorney in 1958. Shortly after, he met his wife, Patricia Kaiser, at the Catholic Alumni Club and they married on Nov. 19, 1960. He was a big fan of USC football and basketball, business development and cooking.
Lusin was a loving husband and fantastic father and a smart, gregarious and kind man. He leaves behind his wife of 59 years, Patricia; children Charles III (Jennifer), Michelle, Melisse (Brian), Jon and Jacqueline (Jim); and granddaughters Zoe, Collette, Shannon, Heather and Melissa.
Samuel Mayerson, LLB 1950, renowned for his role as prosecutor in the 1976 Patty Heart trial, died on Sept. 30, less than a week before his 97th birthday.
Mayerson was born Oct. 6, 1922, in Corpus Christi, Texas. His father was a merchant who eventually ran a mattress factory. Mayerson graduated from high school at the age of 15 and attended Corpus Christi Junior College. After graduating in 1941, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He served in North Africa and Italy, and after being discharged in 1945, settled in Los Angeles. He graduated from UCLA and earned his law degree at USC.
Mayerson joined the L.A. County District Attorney's office in 1952 and later led the office's felony crimes unit. It was in that capacity he tried Hearst, the granddaughter of multimillionaire media magnate William Randolph Hearst. At the trial, Mayerson agreed to a plea bargain with Hearst. In return for pleading no contest to the charges of armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, she received a sentence of seven years' probation. Mayerson said he accepted the deal because Hearst had been sentenced to seven years in a federal bank robbery case and had already been held in custody for a year-and-a-half.
Mayerson was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1981 and served as a judge until 1994. He was back on the bench less than a year later under a state program that brought in retired judges to ease the backlog of Superior Court cases. He was known for being a fair and friendly judge but one who had little patience when attorneys were unprepared.
Ruth, Mayerson's wife of more than 60 years, died in 2016. Mayerson is survived by their children, Matthew (Leslie) Mayerson and Julie (Mark) Mayerson Brown, and four grandchildren: Mickey Brown, Madeline Mayerson Adler, Samuel Brown and Anna Mayerson.
Judge James O. Perez, LLB 1955, passed away on Nov. 5, 2019, in Fullerton, California.
Perez was born in Metcalf, Arizona, on April 27, 1926, and moved to Santa Ana with his family in 1932. He attended Santa Ana High School and proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1946. He then earned a B.S. in accounting at USC in 1951 before graduating from USC Law School in 1955. Perez practiced law as a sole practitioner before co-founding the law firm of Tuller, Rustin & Perez in 1955.
In Dec. 1966, Gov. Pat Brown appointed Perez to a judgeship at the Orange County Municipal Court and in Dec. 1975, Gov. Jerry Brown elevated him to the Orange County Superior Court. Perez retired in 1987, but came back to fill in on a part-time basis.
His wife of 54 years, Carmen; his five sons, Jon, James, Joe, Robert and Michael; and 11 grandchildren survive him. Three of his sons carry on his legal legacy. Perez thrived in the courtroom but truly loved the outdoors, whether high up in snowy elk country or 100 miles offshore chasing big tuna. The love and respect Perez earned from his family and the legal community was a source of great pride throughout his life.
John N. Perruzza, LLB 1965, a longtime resident of Hermosa Beach, has died. Perruzza was a retired prosecuting attorney who served Los Angeles for over 25 years.
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Perruzza immigrated to Southern California with his widowed mother and sister in 1957. While stationed in Japan, Perruzza did a tour of duty in the Korean conflict and became a United States citizen while serving in the U.S. Air Force. Upon release from active duty he entered law school, and worked as a reserve police officer for the Hermosa Beach Police Department. He graduated from USC Law School in 1967 and began his career as a prosecutor with the Los Angeles district attorney's office.
Perruzza was married to the late Nancy Blakeney. His sister, Maria Starbird; his longtime companion, Anne Coniglio; his longtime friend, Jim Dominguez; and many other family and friends survive him.
He will be remembered for his wisdom and kindness.
Thomas Ramsey, LLB 1965, was a product of Long Beach.
He was born at Harriman Jones Medical Clinic and Hospital when it was located at Cherry Avenue and Broadway. He attended Lowell Elementary, Rogers Junior High and Wilson High schools. He lived in Long Beach except during college at Occidental College and USC law school. He also spent time as an officer in the United States Coast Guard and was stationed in New London, San Francisco and Alaska.
Ramsey thoroughly enjoyed being a lawyer. His practice included business law and estate planning for clients for over 50 years. His career began at Ball, Hunt, Hart and Brown. Volunteering was a big part of his life. It included serving on the board of directors of Long Beach Community Hospital, the boards of local, regional, state and national hospital associations and the Committee of 300 (as a founding member, initial general counsel and board member). Ramsey was also on the board of the Pacific Coast Sailing Foundation where he served as its president.
Much of Ramsey's time was spent boating and being near the water. At age eight, Ramsey received his first sailboat. He was a member of Leeway Sailing Club, Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, Los Angeles Yacht Club and the infamous Emerald Bay Yachting Squadron.
Ramsey is survived by Darlene, his spouse and the love of his life. He is also survived by his sons, Jeff and Scott, and Jeff's children, John and Julia.
Kenneth Marc Rosenberg passed away on Oct. 9, 2019, at home surrounded by his loving family. He was 78.
A lifelong Angeleno, Rosenberg was born in the Fairfax neighborhood to the late Bill and Dorothy Rosenberg. After graduating from Fairfax High School, he received a bachelor's in accounting and master's in business administration, both from UCLA. While working full-time as an accountant for Haskins and Sells, Rosenberg went to USC Law School at night.
After starting his own practice, Rosenberg took over as chairman and CEO of Pharmavite Pharmaceuticals and was instrumental in the creation of the Dietary Supplement Act of 1992.
Rosenberg loved his family. He adored art, music, sunny weather and living by the beach. He also enjoyed spending time with friends, traveling the world and going to live concerts whenever possible. Driven by a sense of justice, Rosenberg was a man who overcame obstacles and a fighter to the end.
Rosenberg is survived by his wife of 57 years, Shelly; his children Carin and Cindy, his sister Marilyn Frandsen; his sons-in-law, Erik and Leigh; and his grandchildren Sydney, Henry and Alexis.
Robert Partridge Schalk, LLB 1961, passed away peacefully of natural causes on Monday, July 1, 2019, in Petaluma, Calif.
Schalk grew up in Denver, Colorado, graduating from South Denver High School. He continued his higher education at the University of Colorado Boulder where he was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity and in 1953 graduated with a degree in business.
Schalk served as a lieutenant in the Navy and on a ship in Trinidad during the Vietnam War. After his service, he moved to Los Angeles where he studied accounting. He passed his certified public accounting exam and then went on to USC Law School to become a lawyer. Schalk opened his own law office and practiced as a tax lawyer for over 50 years in his home of Santa Cruz.
In June 1957, he married his wife, Carolyn, on beautiful Lake Chelan in Washington. They had four children: Steven now lives in Denver, Colorado, David lives in the Bay Area, Julie in Marin and Jeffrey in Fort Collins, Colorado. He has seven grandchildren: Grant, Natalie and Reid Stoll, Noah and Levi Schalk and Harvey and Gracie Schalk.
For years, Schalk enjoyed boating and snow skiing with his family at their Lake Tahoe retreat. Many summers were spent scuba diving and golfing in Maui, Hawaii. He always enjoyed eating out with friends, traveling and enjoying life.
Andres Cantero, JD 2016, launched Los Angeles Room and Board, a nonprofit organization that aims to tackle community college homelessness. Cantero is currently a Real Estate Associate for the Los Angeles office of Kirkland and Ellis LLP, where he represents institutional investors, owners and developers in acquisitions, dispositions, financings and joint ventures.
The National Bar Association selected Administrative Law Judge Tara Doss JD 2003 for the 'Top 40 Advocates Under 40 Awards'. The National Bar Association is the nation's oldest and largest bar association with predominantly African American lawyers and judges. ALJ Doss is also serving as the 2018-2019 President of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Inc.
Leigh Dundas, JD 1994, is the CEO of Justice Be Done, a nonprofit that merged with Liberty Asia, an internationally recognized organization to fight human slavery. Dundas has also served as general counsel for A21, whose campaign is to abolish human trafficking.
Karen Grant-Selma, JD 1994, joined OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, as senior vice president, head of Business & Legal Affairs. In this role, Grant-Selma will oversee standards and practices, international sales, union administration, insurance, participation, rights management and risk assessment at OWN LLC.
Steffi Gascon Hafen, JD 2010, was elected chairman of the Board of Directors for Orange County Head Start, Inc., a comprehensive child development program. Hafen, a partner in the Los Angeles and Orange County offices of Snell & Wilmer, has been a board member since 2016.
Lisa Hatton Harrington, JD 1993, joined the Los Angeles office of Cooley LLP as outside general counsel to the firm's clients. Harrington specializes in strategic advisory and consulting services, risk management, compliance audits, legal operations (creation and optimization), effectiveness and efficiency analyses, corporate governance and board of directors' support.
Lisa Kloppenberg, JD 1987, dean and professor of law at Santa Clara University, began serving as SCU's interim provost on April 1, 2019. Kloppenberg is an expert in Appropriate Dispute Resolution and Constitutional Law. She is the co-author of a popular text teaching law students to be effective advocates in negotiation, mediation and arbitration.
Greg Luden, MDR 2019, and Michael Karagozian, LLM in ADR 2019, USC Gould School of Law Center for Dispute Resolution Mediation Fellows, successfully mediated a year-long dispute with the Los Angeles Fire Department that ended in July.
Attilio Mazzili, LLM 2007, became head of Orrick's Italian technology department. The global law firm focuses on serving the technology and innovation, energy and infrastructure and finance sectors across more than 25 markets.
Allen Matkins, a California-based real estate and business law firm, announced the election of Jeffrey Patterson, JD 1986, as the firm's next managing partner. Having played key leadership roles within the firm throughout his career, Patterson will continue to help implement and drive both internal and client-facing initiatives.
The Legal 500 recognized Brandon Reilly, JD 2011, counsel in the privacy and data security practice at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, as a "Rising Star". The Legal 500 highlights attorneys and practices in more than 150 jurisdictions worldwide and assesses their strengths.
Reginald Roberts Jr., JD 2000 of Sanders Roberts LLP secured a unanimous 12-0 defense verdict for their client, the City of Los Angeles, on a whistleblower employment trial involving the Los Angeles Police Department. Roberts founded the firm with Justin H. Sanders, JD 2000.
Joel Roessner, JD 1989, was appointed chief counsel of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). In this role, Roessner is responsible for the delivery of all legal services required to support ATF strategic goals and objectives. He previously held leadership posts in ATF as its deputy chief counsel, deputy assistant director (Professional Responsibility and Security Operations) and associate chief counsel.
Wincen Santoso, LLM in ADR 2015, spoke about the importance of arbitration at the 2019 Singapore International Arbitration Centre. Santoso is a senior litigation associate in the Singapore office of DLA Piper.
The Honorable Bobbi Tillmon, JD 1977, was appointed to Gov. Gavin Newsom's Judicial Selection Advisory Committee, which will provide preliminary, non-partisan feedback on candidates and help to promote a diverse and inclusive nomination process for California's judiciary. Judge Tillmon also serves as president of the Association of African American California Judicial Officers and is a lifetime member of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.
David Willingham, JD 1998, was named joint administrative partner of Boies Schiller Flexner's Los Angeles office. Willingham specializes in white-collar criminal defense and complex litigation matters and leads the firm's West Coast Global Investigations and White Collar Defense practice.
Nancy Yaffe JD 1995 and Emily J. Yukich JD 1999, partners in the Los Angeles office of Fox Rothschild LLP, were featured on The Recorder's inaugural list of "California Trailblazers." This spotlight highlights innovators and thought leaders "who have made significant marks on the practice, policy and technological advancement" of their area of law.
Muriel Aubry, BA 2006, JD 2009, and Michael Thompson, BA 2005, JD 2009, (Gould) welcomed baby Mason Michael Thompson in February 2019.
Daniel Shlomi, BS 2007/JD 2011, and Marissa Gabrielle Krupen were married on June 23 at the Langham Huntington hotel in Pasadena.
Kerri Rene Barton (Foss), JD 2011, of Aliso Viejo, CA passed away on June 18, 2019.
Barton graduated from Capistrano Valley High School in 2003, then attended UCLA where she graduated in 2007 with her bachelor's degree in history. She graduated from USC Gould in 2011 and successfully passed the State Bar Exam. Barton married Ryan Barton In 2017. She loved to travel the world with her husband, friends and family.
Barton is survived by Ryan, her husband; Evelyn and Richard Foss, her parents; Tracey Foss, her sister; Mickey and Ollie, her beloved Labrador Retrievers; Pinto, her cat and many extended family members.
David P. Bergland JD 1969 passed away on June 3, 2019, one day shy of his 84th birthday.
Bergland lived a remarkable life filled with interesting pursuits and unique accomplishments. He grew up on the beaches of southern California along with his five sisters. He had his first job shining shoes at age seven and paid for his first car at age 15. Upon graduating from high school, Bergland joined the U.S. Army, serving from 1953-1955, first at Killeen Base in Texas and then at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
Bergland married Diane Gilbert in 1957 and they had three daughters. However, Diane tragically died 16 years later. In 1984, Bergland married Sharon Ayres and together they went on to demonstrate what a dedicated marriage looks like.
Bergland received his law degree from USC Gould in 1969 and worked for several well-respected Los Angeles firms before starting his own firm in 1979. Although Bergland practiced law throughout his life, he was most proud of his work as a lifeguard in Long Beach and a firefighter and inspector in Los Angeles.
Bergland had an interest in politics and an appreciation for libertarian principles. He joined the Libertarian Party in 1973 and was chosen to be the party's presidential candidate in 1984. As part of his campaign, he authored the book Libertarianism in One Lesson, which is widely hailed as "the best short introduction to libertarianism."
In 1994, he started practicing karate and by 2008 he had earned his third degree black belt. In 1999, at the age of 64, Bergland surprised everyone by entering the famous Muscle Beach bodybuilding competition in Venice, Calif., taking third place for seniors.
Among his many passions, Bergland particularly loved blues music, fast cars and all kinds of books.
Until days before his death, Bergland kept up his weekly strength-training and cardio routine, and stayed on top of his work commitments as an independent trustee for a California-based mutual fund. Bergland will be missed by all, but sorely missed by his soulmate, Sharon. His legacy lives on through his three daughters, two stepsons, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Canon Charles Addison Gessler, LLB 1961, a distinguished public defender who devoted his career to legal advocacy on behalf of people accused of crimes, died on April 27, 2019, at age 85.
Gessler was a longtime member of St. Cross Episcopal Church, Hermosa Beach, where he served as vestry member, senior warden, clergy of the vestry, delegate to Diocesan Convention and in many other capacities. He also served as a legal advisor to the diocese's Standing Committee. Bishop J. Jon Bruno named him a canon of the Cathedral Center of St. Paul in 2012.
Philip Sung Hyun JD 2013 was born on July 12, 1981, in Los Angeles, and passed away April 6, 2019. He resided in Los Angeles at the time of his passing.
David R. Nisall, JD 1952, passed away on April 14, 2019 at the age of 93.
Born in 1926 in New York City, he later moved to Los Angeles. Upon high school graduation in 1943, he enlisted in the United States Navy as a Midshipman at Carroll College in Montana and later at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
After the war, he helped evacuate the native islanders of Bikini Atoll prior to further testing of the atomic bomb. In 1946, he entered the Inactive Naval Reserve and was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade before his Honorable Discharge in 1958.
Nisall attended UCLA and graduated in 1948 with a teaching credential. He was later admitted to law school at USC where he graduated fourth in his class with the Order of the Coif in 1952. He practiced law for 25 years specializing in Civil, Criminal and Family Law. In 1977, Nisall was elected as a Superior Court Commissioner by the judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court where he served for 19 years.
Nisall and his wife Sylvia, who predeceased him in 2007, were married for 59 years. They were longtime residents of Granada Hills and Northridge and moved to Alhambra in the San Gabriel Valley in 2003. He and Sylvia traveled the world together but in their later years enjoyed their time being grandparents.
Nisall was a loving and dedicated father to sons Mark, Jeff, daughter-in-law Yvonne and a loving grandfather to Jacqueline and May.
Raymond E. Plummer Jr., LLB 1969 passed away at home in Anchorage at age 75 on November 28, 2018.
Plummer was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, and move to Alaska as an infant with his parents. He graduated from USC with a B.S. in business administration in 1965 and a law degree in 1969. He was admitted to the Bar in Alaska and California that same year.
Plummer's career as an attorney spanned more than decades at the firm now known as Delaney Wiles and many years running his own private practice. He was among the first attorneys to open law offices in the Aleutian Islands.
Plummer loved Alaska and was an adventurer at heart. Whether it was crossing the Gulf of Alaska or running a sports car in the midnight sun to Fairbanks, he was an explorer with a deep appreciation for the outdoors. In addition to many sea ventures for pleasure, he helped clean up the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. He was also a dog musher and raised sled dogs for many years.
Plummer loved spending time at his family cabin in Big Lake and traveling. He was a deeply loyal friend, and a proud and dedicated father, husband, grandfather and brother. He is survived by his wife Sabrina Peterson, his five children and his sister. He leaves behind nine beloved children, many extended family members and dear friends and Kobuk, a much-loved Malamute who rested his head on the bed during Ray's final days.
Manuel Seligman, passed away on October 25, 2018 at age 96.
Born in Montreal, Seligman moved to Los Angeles at age 14, and graduated from UCLA in 1942. He served in the Army in the Pacific from 1942-1945 and graduated from the USC law school in 1948. Seligman practiced family and commercial law in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 1949-1994.
Seligman was a warm, kind and loving man dedicated to helping others. He leaves behind Selma Bluestone Seligman, his wife of 70 years, daughter Kathryn Seligman, grandson Matthew Bedrick, son-in-law Stephen Bedrick and many nieces and nephews.
Iver Endre Skjeie JD 1950, known to family, friends and professional colleagues as "Dick", passed away at age 94 on June 13, 2019.
Skjeie was born in New York City on July 4, 1924. In 1943, halfway through his attendance at Occidental College, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps, in which he served as a lead navigator in the Eighth Air Force guiding groups of B-17s on missions over Europe. Skjeie was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with four clusters.
After World War II, Skjeie resumed his studies at Occidental College and then attended USC law school where he received his degree in 1950.
While at Occidental College, Skjeie married Georgina Milligan who passed away in 1952. In 1955, Skjeie married his loving life partner, Sheila Oatway Skjeie.
In 1955, Skjeie joined the Los Angeles County Counsel's office and later the law firm of Monteleone, McCrory and Skjeie where he specialized in public contract law. In 1963, he shifted back to public employment, initially with the California State Department of Water Resources in Sacramento and then the State Attorney General's office.
Skjeie applied his public contract expertise to large public works projects, including the State Water Project, a major expansion of the Los Angeles County Flood Control system, and later the development of 14 state prisons. At the Attorney General's office, he rose to Assistant Attorney General and headed the Government Law Section of the Office, where he advised county and state officials, and wrote and supervised the production of official State Attorney General opinions.
Later, Skjeie served as the County Counsel (chief civil attorney) for Monterey County and appeared in all levels of California State and Federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Skjeie was an enthusiastic skier and tennis player and thoroughly enjoyed travel in the U.S and abroad. He also found great satisfaction in family vacations with the Sierra Club and at Fallen Leaf Lake, both of which fostered in his children a love of nature and the outdoors. He loved music, and he and Sheila subscribed to the Sacramento Symphony and the Opera when those organizations were still functioning in the capital.
Skjeie leaves his loving life partner, Sheila, and children David Fairfield Skjeie, Jeffrey Eric Skjeie and Linden Anne Skjeie (Roland White) as well as grandson Christopher Endre "Kit" Skjeie, and granddaughter Alison Victoria White. He was devoted to his children and grandchildren and proud of their accomplishments.
Robert Hideo Takeuchi, LLB 1963, loving husband and father, passed away on June 17, 2019, at his home in Lodi, Calif., after a long illness. He was 82.
Takeuchi was a Japanese American Sansei born in Tacoma, Wash., on June 3, 1937, the first of four children. In 1955, Takeuchi graduated from Dorsey High School in Los Angeles and received a bachelor's degree in economics from UCLA in 1959. He then served on active duty with the U.S. Army Reserve as an infantry captain. Upon his return to Los Angeles, Takeuchi attended USC School of Law and graduated in 1963.
Takeuchi dedicated four decades to practicing law, and focused on assisting businesses and investors coming from Japan to the U.S. He was a senior partner at Kindel & Anderson in Los Angeles. In 1976, he co-authored Setting Up Enterprises in the USA, Japan's Guide to Business in America.
Takeuchi participated in many civic and community organizations such as the Japan America Society of Southern California, the Japanese American Historical Society of Southern California and the national planning board of the White House Conference on Aging.
In 2002, Takeuchi married Kay Boudreau and moved to Lodi, Calif., where he served as the chair of the Lodi Improvement and Budget and Finance committees. Subsequently, he became a member of the board of trustees and the Staff Parish Relations Committee of the First United Methodist Church of Lodi. Additionally, he served on the board of directors of the Lodi Sister Cities Committee and was a member of the Lodi-Tokay Rotary Club.
Takeuchi is survived by Kay Takeuchi, his wife of 16 years; three children, Michael Takeuchi (Summer) of Livermore, Calif., Tim Takeuchi (Diane) of Los Gatos, Calif., and Suzy Takeuchi Critchfield (Jim) of Vienna, Va.; six grandchildren, Zachary, Jake, Cody, Noah, Tessa and Olivia; sister, Judy Kosobayashi (Doug); and brother, Ron Takeuchi (Carole). Also surviving are his first wife, Betty Takeuchi; Kay's two children, Doug and Keith Boudreau; and two grandchildren, Max and Lucas.
John Franklyn Watkins, LLB 1968, passed away Saturday, April 27, 2019 at his home in Glendora, Calif.
Watkins was born in Los Angeles in 1940 and attended school in Pasadena, followed by the University of Utah and a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Northeast England. He finished his undergraduate work at Cal State, Los Angeles, and received his law degree from USC.
Watkins married Judilynn Oversby in 1963 and established a home in Glendora. They are the parents of three sons, James Brian, Michael, and Robert, and two daughters, Dyana Geddie and Laura Daines. He is the grandfather of 18 and great grandfather of six.
Watkins practiced law with Pasadena firm Munns, Kofford, Hunt, Hoffman and Throckmorton for 25 years. He later opened his own law practice with his son Brian in Glendora. He has served in Bishoprics, Stake High Council, was Scoutmaster for 12 years and an Ordinance Worker in the Los Angeles and Nauvoo Temples. He and Judi served a Temple Mission in Nauvoo from 2011 to 2012. His warm smile and friendly nature coupled with his sincere interest in helping others endeared him to many.
Farah Z. Alkayed, JD 2011, joined the Los Angeles office of Carlton Fields as an associate in the firm's National Trial Practice's Business Litigation section. Alkayed represents businesses and individuals in federal and state courts in commercial litigation, including contract disputes, fraud claims, insurance, construction and real estate matters.
David M. Almaraz, JD 1998, joined the firm of Alpert, Barr & Grant as Partner. Almaraz's practice focuses on litigating matters involving real estate, business and trade secret laws. He is admitted to practice before all the state courts of California, the U.S. District Court, Central District of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is also a member of the State Bar of California, the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the San Fernando Valley Bar Association.
Amy Anker JD, 2008, was elevated to partner at Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP. Anker focuses her practice on real estate acquisitions, dispositions and financing involving all types of commercial properties, including multifamily, office, industrial, shopping center, retail and mixed-use developments. She also advises and counsels high-net worth individuals and developer clients acquiring exclusive luxury homes and residential land in Bel Air, Beverly Hills and throughout southern California.
Sunita Bali, JD 2010, was elected to partner in the San Francisco office of Perkins Coie. Bali has substantial experience litigating cases in California state and federal courts and has represented technology, food, and retail clients in consumer class action disputes and other commercial litigation matters.
Nanette Barragan, JD 2005, received the 2019 Benito Juarez Attorney of the Year Award at the Mexican American Bar Association's 59th Annual Gala in February.
Paolo Beconcini, LLM 2018, was highlighted in the World Trademark Review (WTR) 1000. Beconcini leads a China-based team from Squire Patton Boggs' Los Angeles office. The WTR 1000 shines a spotlight on firms and individuals that are deemed outstanding in this critical area of practice.
Gov. Jerry Brown appointed the Hon. Clifford T. Blakely Jr, JD 1995, the Alameda County Superior Court bench. Judge Blakely served as an Alameda County Deputy Public Defender since 2014. He was in private practice from 2007 to 2014, and previously served as a Deputy Public Defender in the Alameda County Public Defender's Office from 1996 to 2007.
Eric Cheng, JD 2010, is serving as Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California. Cheng was previously a Partner at Kirkland & Ellis in the Bay Area.
Siobhan Coley-Amin JD 2015, joined Ervin, Cohen & Jessup as an Associate in the Litigation Department. Coley-Amin advises clients in the entertainment, media, music, and real estate industries on all aspects of civil and probate litigation in both state and federal courts, and has substantial experience appearing on behalf of clients, including on case-dispositive motions.
Deborah Daniel, JD 1979, was featured in the April 22 issue of the Daily Journal. Daniel practiced family law for many years before her appointment as the San Bernardino County Commissioner.
Alexander DeGood, JD 2006, was elected partner in the Los Angeles office of Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP. DeGood joined the firm's land use practice group in 2013 and handles zoning matters, environmental compliance and litigation, with a focus on California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance.
E. Carlos Dominguez, JD 2005, will receive the California Attorney General award in January for his contributions to the Los Angeles community, including his dedication to providing legal assistance to victims of domestic violence through the Domestic Violence Project.
H. Ronald Domnitz, JD 1967, retired from the Assigned Judges Program (Superior Court) after 11 years of service in addition to his 24 years on the bench in San Diego. He will serve as a Family Law mediator and privately compensated judge with the National Conflict Resolution Center.
Steven E. Economou, JD 2012, joined the Los Angeles office of Blank Rome LLP in the Finance, Restructuring, and Bankruptcy group. Economou primarily represents banks, financial institutions, and borrowers in connection with a wide range of transactions, including asset-based lending, secured transactions and commercial financing. He also represents clients in M&A and corporate transactions.
The Los Angeles Business Journal named Amber Finch, JD 2002, as one of the ‘2019 Most Influential Minority Attorneys in Los Angeles.' Finch is a partner in Reed Smith's Los Angeles office, where she is also the Diversity Chair. A member of the firm's Insurance Recovery Group, Finch helps clients negotiate better insurance coverage on the front end, tender and collect on insurance claims and litigate insurance cases. Finch's environmental experience includes the representation of landowners, tenants, and other operators of property on a variety of environmental impact issues.
Fernando Gaytan, JD 2002, was promoted to Deputy Director of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA). In this role, Gaytan will work closely with the Executive Director to provide strategic leadership and management of the organization including program planning, development, budget and financial oversight. Gaytan was the Managing Attorney of the Housing and Communities Workgroup since 2014.
Lisa Gilford, JD 1993, was named one of the ‘2019 Most Influential Minority Attorneys in Los Angeles' by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Gilford, who recently joined the Los Angeles office of Sidley Austin LLP as a partner, focuses her practice on class actions, products liability law and jury trials. She represents several major members of the automotive, pharmaceutical, communications, oil and gas, aerospace and chemical manufacturing industries.
Rebecca Goodman JD 1995, Alicia Ide JD 1996 and Kyhm Penfil JD 1995, met up in March at the 2019 ALI-CLE Legal Issues in Museum Administration conference in Washington D.C. Goodman is patent counsel at Celgene and has interest in founding a cultural heritage museum. Ide is Director of Business and Administration at the Wende Museum of the Cold War in Los Angeles where she has overseen the museum's construction of its first building. Penfil is Campus Counsel at University of California Irvine and advises the campus's Institute and Museum of California Art.
Los Angeles Business Journal named Nicole Gordon, JD 2005, to their list of ‘Most Influential Women Lawyers in Los Angeles.' Gordon, a partner at The Sohagi Law Group in Los Angeles, advises public agencies on complex environmental and land use planning matters at the administrative, trial and appellate level.
Julia A. Gowin, JD 2004, joined the Los Angeles office of Lathrop Gage LLP as a partner. Gowin focuses her practice on all aspects of complex civil litigation including product liability, premises liability, toxic and mass torts, and environmental law. She has over a decade of experience in the areas of asbestos and silica defense, and she currently acts as national coordinating counsel in cosmetic talc litigation.
The Daily Journal profiled Judge Kimberley Guillemet, JD 2005, in its April 1 issue. The article highlights the $9 million grant that Judge Guillemet secured to help more than 1,000 newly released inmates find jobs.
Steffi Gascon Hafen, JD 2010, was elected to partner at the Los Angeles and Orange County offices of Snell and Wilmer. Hafen is a certified specialist in estate planning and trust and probate law and is a member of the firm's Private Client Services and General Federal Tax practice groups.
Jason Karlov JDMA 1995, Richard Kendall JD 1979, Abel Lezcano JD 1992, Michele Mulrooney Jackaway JD 1985 and Chris Perez, JD 2009, were featured in Variety's 2019 Legal Impact Report in April. The report highlights the world's top entertainment lawyers who have made a major impact on the entertainment industry over the past year.
Derek Lazzaro, JD 2009, was promoted to Chief Information Officer at Lewis Brisbois. During 2018, Lazzaro served as Deputy CIO at the firm. He is currently a planning commissioner for the City of Palos Verdes Estates and a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Working Group on Technology and Innovation.
Faustina Lee, JD 2010, was promoted to counsel in the Cleveland office of Tucker Ellis LLP. Lee practices in all areas of intellectual property law in areas such as electronics, telecommunications, aerospace, medical devices, academic research, entertainment, apparel, jewelry and the arts. Lee also assists clients with securing and enforcing trademark rights for their brands.
Bob Martin JD 1969, became the 56th President of the American Rose Society in October 2018. Founded in 1892, the American Rose is an educational, nonprofit organization that exists to promote the culture, preservation and appreciation of the rose and to improve its standard of excellence for all people, through education and research.
Jennifer Martin, JD 2004, joined Winstead's Real Estate Development & Investments Practice Group as Of Counsel in their Austin office. Martin has a niche practice representing homeowner associations (HOAs) with formation and long-term operations, drafting and interpreting governing documents and educating Boards of Directors on compliance issues.
Aleen Mayelian, JD 2016, joined the Los Angeles office Fox Rothschild LLP as an associate in the Litigation Department. Mayelian is also an active volunteer with the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Domestic Violence Project.
Raymond Nhan, JD 2015, joined the Irvine office of Payne & Fears LLP. Nhan practices within the Employment Law Group, representing clients in a wide range of employment matters in court and before administrative agencies. He also counsels employers on various labor and employment issues-including complying with federal and state laws.
Patrick Nolan JD 1975, Director of the Center for Criminal Justice Reform, American Conservative Union Foundation, was honored at the 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). CPAC awarded Nolan with the ‘Award for Conservative Excellence' and named their Center for Justice in his honor. For over 20 years, Nolan has worked to reform the criminal justice system and has led the effort to build a movement of conservatives to support those reforms.
Cynthia Organ, JD 2013, joined Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro as an associate in the Litigation Department. She represents clients in state and federal litigation and arbitration in a wide variety of matters, including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, trade secret, labor and employment, products liability, probate and real estate actions.
Amy Proctor JD 2011, was elected to partner at Irell & Manella LLP. Proctor helps clients manage and resolve patent infringement disputes across a broad range of technologies, including computer architecture, signal transmission, renewable energy and pharmaceuticals. Her expertise includes patent litigation and contested patent office proceedings, particularly inter partes reviews, at all stages from pre-litigation through trial and appeal.
Peter K. Rosen, JD 1978, joined JAMS in Los Angeles as an arbitrator, mediator, special master and neutral evaluator in a variety of practice areas, including business/commercial, construction, cybersecurity and privacy, entertainment and sports, insurance, international, natural/mass disaster relief, professional liability and securities. Rosen has expertise in handling high-profile insurance matters covering a wide range of commercial issues and policies.
Carolina Schwalbach, JD 2011, was elected to partner in the Los Angeles office of Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP. Schwalbach practices employment litigation, defending employers against a wide scope of claims before California state and federal courts and administrative agencies. She also advises clients on compliance with California and federal wage and hour laws.
Christopher Stark, JD 2001, was elected partner in the Los Angeles office of Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP. As a transactional attorney in the firm's joint venture team, Stark leverages more than two decades of experience to champion acquisitions, dispositions and sophisticated development work for institutional developers and homebuilders.
Steve Werth JD 1999, has been elevated to Senior Counsel at SulmeyerKupetz. Werth, who has been with the firm for 10 years, will continue his representation of debtors, creditors, trustees and asset purchasers in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases and out-of-court restructurings.
Carolyn Woodson, JD 2006, was elected partner at in the Los Angeles office of Jones Day. Woodson is an experienced litigator who represents clients in high-stakes litigation pending in federal and state courts and ADR forums. She advises clients from a broad spectrum of industries including consumer products, pharmaceuticals, credit reporting, railroad, telecommunications, financial services and entertainment. Woodson's practice focuses on business disputes, class action defense and insurance coverage.
Nancy Yaffe JD 1995 and Emily Yukich Jd 1999, partners in the Los Angeles office of Fox Rothschild LLP, were recognized in the 2019 class of ‘Most Influential Women Lawyers' by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Jason Cosgrove, JD 2006, and family welcomed baby Talia Michelle on December 27, 2018.
Nina Goldberg, JD 2005, welcomed a baby girl into her family.
Becky (Raizman) Newman, JD 2010, and David Newman, JD 2006, welcomed baby Jacob Orion Newman on April 16, 2019.
Abigail Greenspan, JD 2010, married Martha Rivera on December 2, 2018.
Richard Lee August, JD 1974, passed away at his home in Malibu. on Jan 10, 2019. August was a beloved father, brother, partner, friend and prominent Los Angeles attorney. Born in Chicago and reared in the Central Illinois town of Mattoon, August earned undergraduate and graduate degrees Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Illinois and his law degree with honors from the University of Southern California.
Early in his career, August rose to be the youngest-ever Chair of the growing real estate department at Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg & Phillips. In 1990, he was a founding partner of Russ, August & Kabat and was always instrumental in the firm's success. To his co-founding partners Larry Russ and Jules Kabat, August was more like a brother than a partner. He was instrumental in renewing cities and skylines in his adopted home of Los Angeles as well as other cities such as New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Seattle and many more.
August was appreciated and respected by all who knew and worked with him for his loyalty, insight and the piercing humor he brought to every transaction. He loved his work and didn't stop practicing until forced to do so by his illness. He was always up for adventure and shared that with his family and friends. August treasured spending time with those he loved, including the many giant but gentle Bernese Mountain dogs Rick raised and showed over the years.
August is survived by his son Joe, and by his loving brother, Brett.
Former Orange County Democratic Chairman Frank Barbaro, LLB 1968, passed away on April 15, 2019 in Santa Ana.
Barbaro was born in Detroit on Aug. 28, 1943. He moved with his family to California in 1954 and graduated from Garden Grove High School in Orange County.
An accomplished trial attorney, Barbaro graduated from USC magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in political science in 1965 and a law degree in 1968. A diehard Trojan, Barbaro had the marching band perform at one of his birthdays.
Among Barbaro's high-profile cases as an attorney was his representation of 23,000 Lincoln Savings investors' suit against Charles Keating in the 1989 savings-and-loan scandal and representing victims in the 1980 MGM Grand Hotel fire in Las Vegas.
First elected Chairman of county Democrats in 1977, Barbaro returned as party boss from 2001 to 2013.
He is survived by his two sons, Brett and Casey.
Walter Briggs Connolly, Jr LLB 1967, passed away on February 10, 2019 in Grosse Pointe, MI.
Connolly attended Georgetown University and the University of Detroit before receiving his LLB in 1967 from USC. He return to Michigan to practice law and was a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the District of Columbia Bar and the American Bar Association. He also authored numerous publications.
A ‘consummate gentleman, an aficionado of sport coats and striped ties,' Connolly will be missed by family and friends.
He is survived by his wife Robin Anne, five children and five grandchildren.
Roy Doumani LLB 1962, a keen Los Angeles businessman, philanthropist and driving force behind bioscience innovation whose education nurtured a generation of entrepreneurs at UCLA, passed away at age 83 on March 10, 2019.
The executive director of the Business of Science Center at UCLA and professor at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine was the consummate Los Angeles businessperson – whose lifelong ventures ranged from banking to real estate, from biotechnology to education, and to the arts.
Doumani studied business and finance at UCLA, earned a law degree at USC Gould and served as a reserve officer and paratrooper in the U.S. Army.
He launched the UCLA Business of Science Center, and Westwood Technologies, to help turn prodigious campus research into billions. He helped launch the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA to turn nanoparticles into the next technology. Over the course of two decades, Doumani helped fund and create companies such as Agensys, Kite, Neural Analytics Inc., Momentum Biosciences, Neucures Inc., Trethera Corp., Spinal Singularity, to name a few.
Doumani is survived by his wife, Carol, and his three brothers.
Nancy Ruth Hoffman, JD 1977, passed away in Los Angeles on April 15, 2019.
Hoffman was born on October 22, 1941 in Kansas City, Missouri and moved to Mission, Kansas in 1954. She attended Northwestern University, receiving Bachelor's and Master's degrees in applied music. She performed in and directed musical productions, primarily in the Chicago area, for several years while also working for a music-publishing firm.
Hoffman moved to Los Angeles in 1966 and graduated with a law degree from USC in 1977. She practiced Family Law in Los Angeles until her retirement in 2012.
Hoffman was a lifelong lover of family & friends, music (especially opera), art, travel, dogs and all things purple. She was able to combine many of these favorite interests and activities throughout her life.
Her sister, brother-in-law, two nieces and their families survive Hoffman. She was vivacious, generous, loving and will be sorely missed.
Kenneth Dean Holland, LLB 1951, passed away on Sept. 16, 2017 in Grapevine, Texas at the age of 91. Holland received his BA in Letters, Arts and Sciences in 1949 and his LLB from USC Gould in 1951.
He is fondly remembered by his family as "a Trojan through and through."
David Leslie Johnson LLB 1960, passed away on March 30, 2019.
Johnson was born in Ottumwa, Iowa on Dec. 18, 1934 and was the only child of Ellwood and Laverne Johnson. While growing up, he spent summers in Grand Marais, Minnesota where his family had a cabin on Lake Superior.
Johnson received his law degree from USC Gould in 1960. After graduation, he became a Judge Advocate in the Army, stationed in Charlottesville, Virginia. There he met the love of his life, Jo Ann. They married in 1963 and moved back to Southern California where Johnson became a corporate lawyer. He and Jo Ann have two married children, Leslie and her husband, Tim, and David and his wife, Kathryn and four grandchildren, Matthew, Katie, Brace and Charlotte. Johnson enjoyed reading, spending summers in Grand Marais and spending time with his family and friends.
Samuel Lipson LLB 1948, passed away on January 9. Lipson was born in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles with his four siblings. He died just shy of reaching 101.
After graduating from UCLA, Lipson served as an officer during WWII. In 1948 he graduated top of his class from USC Law School, practicing law for over 40 years. Past president of B'nai B'rith, Lipson was an eloquent, charming speaker, and lover of classical music, literature and arts.
He appreciated his wonderful caregivers and is survived by his children Juliene, Stephen and Annette, grandsons Trevor and Colin Bjorklund and Benjamin Lipson, his stepchildren Barbara, Robin, Linda, Susan, and many loving nieces and nephews.
William Bill Patrick McGinn peacefully passed away in Torrance, Calif. on April 6, 2019.
McGinn was born on May 8, 1930 in the Panama Canal Zone to Thomas and Edith McGinn. He had three brothers Noel, Charles and Thomas Jr. He played football and track in high school and attended Oregon State for two years. He graduated from USC with a degree in International Relations (1952) then served in the Marine Corps, which provided a scholarship for his USC Law degree in 1958. He practiced law for over 45 years.
McGinn married Patricia McCarron from Iowa in 1961 and moved to Palos Verdes a few years later. After the unexpected passing of his wife, he married Gloria Marcy, an educator. He served in leadership roles for the Palos Verdes Breakfast Club and Marymount College Trustees and held memberships at the Rolling Hills Country Club and Bravo support group for the Norris Theatre, where he specialized in production of St. Patrick's Day Irish Parties.
Throughout his life, McGinn enjoyed philanthropy, Sunday mass at St. John Fisher, playing clarinet with a local jazz combo, hunting, fishing, golf, extensive traveling to 60 countries, dining and family gatherings. He was known as being a great guy, humorous and generous. He will be missed.
McGinn is survived by his wife of 25 years, her adult children (Susan, Renee and Geoffrey) and his two remaining brothers, Noel and Charles.
Keith G. O'Brien, LLB 1962, passed away peacefully at his home at age 81 on Feb. 9, 2019. O'Brien was born in 1937 in San Bernardino. He received his law degree from the University of Southern California in 1962 and then proudly served his country in the United States Navy as a Judge Advocate including service in Vietnam.
O'Brien practiced law for 50 years in Washington, D.C., working for the Interstate Commerce Commission and later as a partner with Wheeler and Wheeler. He was admitted to practice law in the California Supreme Court, the Federal District Court in Southern California, the United States Court of Military Appeals, the United States Supreme Court and the United States Court of Claims.
O'Brien married Joan Young in 1967 and became a step-father to three young children. They became grandparents to six loving grandchildren before Joan passed away in 1994. O'Brien met the second love of his life and married Maria Eugenia in 1998. O'Brien had a strong passion for nature and enjoyed living surrounded by woods. In retirement, O' Brien and Maria enjoyed going on cruises to many exotic ports including a very memorable return trip to Vietnam years after he served there.
O'Brien was a member of the First Christian Science Church of McLean, Virginia and spent countless hours doing volunteer work with the church. He is survived by his wife Maria Eugenia, his sister Kathleen, stepchildren Jim, Beth, Steve, Roger, Cindy and Lorena, seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
David H.R. Pain passed away peacefully at home on Feb. 14, 2019, at the age of 96. He was a visionary who was the founding father of masters athletics as well as the inspiration behind the triathlon.
Pain was born July 31, 1922, in Taplow, Buckinghamshire, England. At the age of five, his family moved to Windsor, Ontario, and later immigrated to Los Angeles.
At North Hollywood High School, he enjoyed singing in the glee club, school operettas, track and gardening. During his senior year, he became a U.S. citizen and would later serve in the Atlantic and Pacific aboard the USS Mount Vernon (AP-22) during World War II. Pain studied business administration at Occidental College and UCLA and graduated from USC Law School in 1949. That same year, he married his first wife, Helen Ballwanz, and they moved to Ocean Beach, where he opened his law practice and practiced civil litigation as senior partner for 38 years.
For several years, Pain and Helen traveled extensively worldwide, organizing and staging masters championships. He celebrated his 50th birthday by staging a biathlon that continued for several years, eventually becoming the inspiration behind the modern day triathlon. In 1998, Triathlete Magazine elected him to the Triathlon Hall of Fame. He later found an outlet in cycling and completed events such as Ride the Rockies, Tour de Tucson, Solvang, San Diego Century, Death Valley to Mt. Whitney and more.
Pain met his second wife, Linda, while singing together in the San Diego Master Chorale; they were married in 1979. Pain is survived by his wife, Linda, of 39 years; his children, Robin Hochstadt, Randy Pain, Bruce Pain, Heather Whitmore, Dara Shearen, Vicki Sheldon and their spouses; and his 11 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Robert Ajemian, JD 1988, joined The Home Depot, Atlanta, as Senior Corporate Counsel supporting their e-commerce business. Prior to this, Ajemian spent 13 years as in-house counsel at Staples in Boston.
Dan Tavares Arriola, JD 2014, was elected to the City Council of Tracy, Calif. Arriola is a Deputy District Attorney and was the former President of the USC Bar Association.
Ron Barak, JD 1968, writes political and legal thrillers. His second book, The Puppet Master, will be released by Gander House Publishers on Jan. 8, 2019.
Matthew Benedetto, JD 2007, was elevated to partner in the Los Angeles office of WilmerHale, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Benedetto is a member of the firm's Litigation/Controversy Department with more than 10 years of experience representing clients in complex civil, criminal and administrative matters.
Franklin Bynum, JD 2008, won the general election on Nov. 6, 2018 and is now a Democratic judge-elect for the Harris County Criminal Court at Law Texas No. 8.
Andres Cantero Jr. JD 2016, joined the Los Angeles office of Kirkland and Ellis as an associate, where he practices real estate law.
The Honorable Candace Cooper, JD 1973, retired Justice of the California Court of Appeal, Second District, conducted the installation of new Board Members at the SCMA Annual Conference Awards & Installation Dinner in November.
Andrew C. Crane 2012, joined labor and employment law firm Fisher Phillips as an associate in its Irvine office. Crane focuses on labor and employment litigation, defending employers in class and collective wage-and-hour claims, as well as single-plaintiff employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation matters.
Donald G. Davis, JD 1969, just released The Strand, the sixth book in his mystery novel series, published under his pen name, Davis MacDonald. The murder mystery takes a look at the conflict between the First Amendment's Freedom of Press and the Sixth Amendment's right to Due Process and Presumption of Innocence in the Age of the 'Me Too' movement.
Sean Galliher, LLM 2018, attained the Fellow designation with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). CIArb is an international centre of excellence for the practice and profession of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Galliher has been Associate General Counsel at Skechers for the past 12 years and is also a current ADR LLM student at USC Gould.
Alex Griffin, JD 2017, joined the Criminal Division of the San Diego City Attorney's Office.
Criminal defense attorney Don Hammond, JD 2009, discussed the Castle doctrine on News Radio 600 in San Diego.
Anne Hwang, JD 2002, was appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Hwang was chief deputy federal public defender in the Federal Public Defender's Office, Central District of California since 2018, where she served in several positions since 2006, including chief of the Los Angeles Trial Unit, supervising deputy federal public defender and deputy federal public defender.
Joseph Jeong, LLM 2018, was elected to the SCMA Board of Directors for a three-year term.
Kelly A. Knight, JD 2006, joined Judicate West, a private dispute resolution service, as a mediator. For more than a decade, Knight litigated cases involving employment law, including class actions, discrimination, harassment, wage-and-hour, and Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) claims; all types of personal injury; and business/contractual matters. As a mediator, Knight has handled matters for the Los Angeles Superior Court's Personal Injury CRASH settlement program, as well as in private practice. He also serves on the mediation panel for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Mary Beth Maloney, JD 2007, was elected to partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dubb & Crutcher LLP. Maloney's practice focuses on high-stakes complex commercial and business litigation in state, federal and bankruptcy courts. She is an advisor to numerous public companies, asset funds, fund managers and portfolio companies.
Tiffany McCoy, JD 1997, joined HBUS Inc., the U.S. strategic partner of cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, as its general counsel, making her the first African-American woman to serve in that role for a digital currency marketplace. McCoy has over 20 years of experience working on legal matters within companies, including stints at several tech giants in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jeremy M. Mishali, JD 2013, joined Kelley Kronenberg's Fort Lauderdale office as an attorney. Mishali assists in handling matters related to First Party Insurance Defense Litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Mishali worked as an Associate Attorney in a civil litigation where he primarily handled First Party Property Insurance Defense matters.
William Mullholland II, JD 1998, is a Partner in the Phoenix office of Snell & Wilmer, LLP. He also serves as a co-chair of its Life Science Industry group, which services the patent, strategy, and transactional needs of pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industries.
Banu Naraghi, JD 2016, joined Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP as a litigation associate, and will focus on corporate and intellectual property litigation in both state and federal court. Naraghi has represented a wide range of clients including content creators, investors and corporations in cases involving contract disputes, securities fraud and business torts.
Albert E. Peacock III, JD 1983, founded Peacock Piper Tong + Voss LLP, a maritime law firm in Long Beach. The firm focuses on defending vessel owners, marine terminals and their P&I Clubs in personal injury, marine pollution and cargo/property damage claims, marine terminal lease negotiations and major marine casualty investigations.
Michael E. Perez, JD 1996, was appointed to a judgeship in the Orange County Superior Court. Perez served as an assistant public defender at the Orange County Public Defender's Office since 2015, where he was a deputy public defender from 1997 to 2015 and a law clerk from 1996 to 1997.
Devin E. Rauchwerger, JD 2010, joined Fisher Phillips as an associate in their Los Angeles office. Rauchwerger represents employers in various aspects of employment law including single plaintiff fair employment cases, wage-hour class actions and Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) matters.
Gov. Jerry Brown appointed David K. Reinert, JD 2004, to the Los Angeles Superior Court. He has been a Los Angeles deputy district attorney since 2005. Reinert has held several leadership roles within the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Birgit Sale, JD 1983 was selected as the foreperson for the 2018-2019 Orange County Grand Jury. In June, the 19 members of the Grand Jury were charged with their duties for the one-year term of service.
Alvand Salehi, JD 2013, was included in the Top 20 of Apolitical's 2018 list of 100 Future Leaders: The World's Most Influential Young People in Government. The list recognizes people in the field of government and policy who have made a mark early in their careers.
Max Sank, JD 2000, was named partner in the Los Angeles office of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore. Sank's areas of expertise include the interactive process and reasonable accommodations for employees and students, workplace and student investigations, employment/enrollment agreements (including arbitration agreements) and student discipline.
Teresa Steen, JD 2007, was featured in the Nov. 23 issue of the Daily Journal. Steen is a family litigator that took a sabbatical from her legal practice to travel around the world for a year.
Daniela L. Stolman, JD 2006, was elected to partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dubb & Crutcher LLP. Stolman advises companies and private equity firms across a wide range of industries on public and private merger transactions, stock and asset sales and public and private capital-raising transactions. She also advises public companies on federal securities law and corporate governance matters.
Rosezetta Upshaw, JD 2011, was named President-Elect of the Black Women Lawyers (BWL) Association of Los Angeles, Inc. BWL is a nonprofit corporation that addresses the needs and concerns of African-American women in the legal profession.
Jessica Walker, JD 2010, joined Foley & Lardner LLP as a member of the Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice. Walker has experience in all aspects of commercial litigation in federal and state court and arbitration.
The Los Angeles Business Journal nominated Thomas Wehinger, LLM 2014, for Leaders in Law 2018 - In-House Counsel. Wehinger serves as the General Counsel for Regent LP and is responsible for all legal matters at the corporate level and within its nine portfolio companies.
John Whitaker, JD 1967, joined the Los Angeles office of Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP as a partner. Whitaker brings more than 50 years of legal counsel to developers of major downtown Los Angeles projects and other domestic and foreign investors in large-scale office, residential, lodging and retail buildings, to the firm's land use practice group.
Inc 5000 ranked Yepremyan Law Firm, founded by Vaham Yepremyan, JD 1997, as one of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in the Nation. The firm was also listed as the 25th out of 100 Best Places to Work in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Tatiana Nunneri, JD 2014 and Dominic Nunneri, JD 2014 welcomed a baby girl, Nairi Francesca Armine.
Amy Wan, JD 2011, and her husband Jonar welcomed a baby boy, Thom-San, on April 2, 2018.
Paul Henry Abram, JD 1967 passed away on Oct. 19, 2018, at the age of 77.
Abram joined the Air Force after high school and was stationed on the island of Crete as a spy for the National Security Agency (NSA). He later covered the Cuban Missile Crisis as a spy for NSA. In 1963, he was honorably discharged from the Air Force and attended USC Gould where he graduated in 1967.
Abram practiced law in California and Oregon from 1967 until 2004. While Director of Litigation for Inland Counties Legal Services from 1977 to 1980, he was named National Director of the Migrant Farmworker Program by the National Legal Services Corp. in Washington, D.C. He successfully handled numerous lawsuits that gained decent housing for farmworkers.
Abram retired from law in 2004 to focus on writing and photography. In 2012, he published his first book Love Poems with an Attitude. Trona, Bloody Trona: A Revolution in Microcosm followed in 2013.
Abram is survived by his wife Marcia.
John Anderholt, JD 1968, passed away on Aug. 19, 2018 at the age of 75.
Born in Holtville, Calif. Anderholt grew up on the family farm. He attended Stanford University where he received his Bachelors of Arts in Economics in 1965 and received a JD from Gould in 1968. Anderholt was admitted to the Central District Court of California in 1968 and to Attorney & Consular of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1973. He specialized in corporate and. business law, and Real Estate Transactional Law for over 40 years. He was a licensed Real Estate Broker and member of the California, Riverside County, Los Angeles County and Desert Bar Associations. He was Trustee to the College of The Desert from 1984-1989 and Chairman from 1987-1988, as well as serving on the Board at UC Riverside and the California State Board of Realtors.
From 1970 to 1986, John was an integral part of the Palm Desert Community Library Association and American Cancer Society, as well as the United Way.
John is survived by his wife Cynthia Lee Davis-Anderholt, their children and grandchildren.
Ronald Bakal, JD 1970, passed away on Aug. 4th, 2018 at the age of 72.
Bakal was an attorney for 47 years in Beverly Hills and Palm Desert. He used the power of litigation to 'fight for the little guys' against larger businesses and the government.
Bakal was a lover of sports, art and travel. He is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren and sister.
Craig Biddle, LLB 1956, passed away on Sept. 23, 2018 at the age of 87. Biddle pushed through state laws requiring breathalyzers for suspected drunk drivers and smog checks for all cars while representing Riverside from 1964 until 1974.
A passionate French Horn player, Biddle spent three summers at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan and intended to spend his life as a musician. However, after enrolling at Occidental College, he discovered a lifelong interest in the law and sold his horn to pay for the first semester of law school at USC.
After graduating, he moved from South Pasadena to Riverside where he became a deputy district attorney. He served there four years, before moving to the other side of the courtroom as a public defender. The experience gave him an interest in becoming district attorney. To gain name recognition for that campaign, he ran for state Assembly as a Republican and won.
Biddle was Assembly majority leader from 1969 to 1971, then resigned to run for Senate. After one term representing the Riverside area in the Senate, he lost by 0.2 percent after President Richard Nixon's resignation.
After leaving office, Biddle started a law firm in Sacramento, then retired in 1995. He served occasionally as a lobbyist and adviser until shortly before his death.
Jim Preis, JD 1978, a Los Angeles lawyer, USC Gould lecturer and activist who fought for the rights of the mentally ill and disabled for decades, died on Oct. 12 2018 at age 66.
An Angeleno, Preis earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy at Stanford and his JD from USC Gould in 1978. A year later, Preis took over as the head of Mental Health Advocacy Services (MHAS) and continued to lead the L.A. nonprofit, which provides free legal service to people with mental disabilities, until early in 2018.
With MHAS, Preis litigated several major cases on behalf of people with mental disabilities, lectured on mental health advocacy issues, and authored books, law review and professional articles on legal issues affecting people with mental disabilities.
"He really wanted to find alternatives to hospitalization so people would be neither institutionalized nor living on the streets," USC Gould Prof. Elyn Saks told Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez. Saks -- who is the director of Gould's Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics -- said that Preis fought ferociously to make sure the wishes of patients are heard.
As a lecturer in law at USC Gould, Preis taught courses on Mental Health Law and co-wrote the textbook "The Essentials of California Mental Health Law" and lectured on the topic. His daughter Annie told the Los Angeles Times that Preis was driven by the belief that everyone "should be fighting for people who need advocates."
Preis is survived by his children, both lawyers, and his wife, whom he married in 1981.
Lawrence S. Ross, LLB 1957, passed away on Sept. 2, 2018. He graduated from UCLA in 1954 and USC Gould in 1957. Ross practiced as an attorney in Los Angeles until retiring at age 81. He is survived by his three sons and grandchildren and is cherished for his loving and kind ways, strength of character and moral code.
Judge John Henry Sandoz, JD 1970, passed away on May 21, 2018. Born in Houston in 1933, Sandoz arrived in Los Angeles at age three. Sandoz graduated UCLA in 1955 with a degree in mathematics. He was drafted into the Army in 1956, where he was an original "rocket scientist," assisting the Army in tracking the trajectory of rockets. He was honorably discharged in 1958, and eventually worked in the aerospace industry.
In 1967, Sandoz enrolled in USC Law School and was admitted to the California Bar in 1971.
After graduation, Sandoz was a Reginald Heber Smith fellow to the Los Angeles Neighborhood Legal Services Society. He then went into private practice and formed a partnership with Irma Brown and the late Elbert T. Hudson, serving as managing partner. Sandoz also was the Director of Legal Services at USC.
In 1981, Sandoz began his service as a Los Angeles Court Commissioner. In 1995, Gov. Pete Wilson appointed him to be a L.A. Superior Court Judge in the Family Law Department. In 2003, he was appointed Assistant Supervising Judge of the Family Law Department. Sandoz retired from the bench in 2006.
Over the years, Sandoz received various recognitions: Constitutional Rights Lawyer of the Year, the Justice Award from the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, and USC Association of Black Law School Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement in the legal profession. He was also inducted into the John M. Langston Hall of Fame.
Sandoz is survived by Beverley, his wife of 38 years, and their children.
Judge Carlos E. Velarde, JD 1959, died on Sept. 6, 2018. He was 88 years old.
Velarde was born in Los Angeles. In October of 1952 he joined the United States Army, assigned to the legal office at Ft. Bliss, Texas, during the Korean War. After serving in the U.S. Army he received his BA degree from Cal State Los Angeles and graduated from USC Law School in 1959.
Velarde's professional career began with the opening of a law office in East Los Angeles for 10 years. He had a strong commitment to the people of Los Angeles and the Latin community, serving fairly and compassionately there and throughout his lifetime.
He was appointed to the East L.A. Municipal Court in 1969 by the then-Gov. Ronald Reagan, who elevated Velarde two-and-a-half years later to the L.A. Superior Court. In 1989 he was contacted by the California Supreme Court and appointed to the State Bar Court serving as a hearing judge, and later supervising judge. He served until 2000. After the State Bar he joined the L.A. Superior Court, sitting on assignment in several courthouses, until his final retirement at the age of 85.
Zachary Bulthuis, JD 2001, joined Akerman LLP as a partner in their Labor and Employment Practice Group. Bulthuis represents management in labor and employment disputes with clientele ranging from Fortune 500 companies to local businesses and individuals.
Jim Burgess, JD 1990, a partner at Sheppard Mullin Richter and Hampton LLP, was appointed to serve as president of the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.
David Colgan, JD 2009, co-authored The Green Bundle: Pairing the Market with the Planet, with environmental economist Magali Delmas. Colgan is also writing a children's book and a second book on environmental themes. He has partnered with PBS SoCal's "Sustaining California" to help produce shows providing an expert look at sustainability issues.
Gov. Jerry Brown nominated the Hon. Thomas DeSantos, JD 1981, a Kings County Superior Court Judge since 2003, to the Fifth District Court of Appeal. DeSantos will fill the opening left by Judge Gene Gomes.
Cameron Edwards, JD 2017, joined Hadley Bajramovic and will focus on defending people in deportation proceedings before immigration judges and representing clients in appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Federal Courts of Appeal.
The Hon. Miguel T. Espinoza, JD 2007, was named to the Los Angeles Superior Court bench by Gov. Jerry Brown. Judge Espinoza served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney since 2017. He was a deputy district attorney at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office from 2008-17 and held several positions for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2007-08, including statewide political director and deputy field director.
Mark Finkelstein, JD 1994, has joined Umberg Zipser as a partner in the firm's Intellectual Property Practice Group, which is dedicated to identifying, procuring, shepherding and defending clients' intellectual property rights. Finkelstein has more than 23 years of intellectual property and complex litigation experience in some of the nation's largest firms.
Jessica Ghirado Gordon, JD 2012, was inducted as the President of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's (LACBA) Barristers.
The June issue of Los Angeles Lawyer, LACBA's magazine, featured Maria Hall, JD 2003, and the Hon. Mark A. Juhas who shared their thoughts on the use of limited scope legal assistance.
Whitney A. Hodges, JD 2010, was recognized by Continental Who's Who as a Pinnacle Lifetime Member in the field of Law in recognition of her role as an attorney at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton, LLP.
The Hon. Nora M. Manella, JD 1975, was appointed presiding justice, Division Four of the Second District California Court of Appeals. Judge Manella has been an associate justice since 2006. Prior to that, she served as a U.S. district judge for the Central District of California, where she sat for eight years.
Sean Matsler, JD 2003, joined Cox, Castle and Nicholson LLP as its newest land use partner. Matsler brings 15 years of experience securing entitlements for residential, commercial, industrial and institutional real estate development projects to bolster the firm's robust land use practice.
Bill Peterson, JD 1975, a partner in Snell and Wilmer's Reno office, was honored by the State Bar of Nevada as the recipient of this year's Presidential Award. Peterson was recognized in a video presentation at the bar's annual meeting in Chicago.
Shannon Raj, JD 2011 and Deepak Singh, JD 2011, welcomed a baby boy, Rian Raj Singh, in March 2018, and are now living in The Netherlands, where Raj works as an international criminal law attorney, advising a Kabul-based team on sexual violence litigation in Afghanistan. Singh is Legal Counsel to Kraft Heinz, advising on issues related to its European procurement and supply chain, as well as data privacy.
The Hon. Sheila Recio, JD 1998, was named to the Orange County Superior Court by Gov. Jerry Brown. Judge Recio has served as a commissioner at the Orange County Superior Court since 2016. Prior to that, she served in several positions at the Orange County Superior Court, including deputy general counsel, senior research attorney and counsel to the presiding judge.
Albert Reyes, JD 2001, joined Kutak Rock's national public finance practice group and will be resident in the firm's Los Angeles and Irvine offices. Reyes is a public finance and infrastructure lawyer who serves as bond counsel, disclosure counsel and underwriters' counsel on a variety of matters.
Simone Riley, JD 2014, has rejoined Hahn and Hahn LLP as an associate in the Business Practice Group, focusing on general corporate matters, real estate and finance. Riley returns to the firm after working at Seward and Kissel LLP in New York for two years.
David Short, JD 1979, has been appointed by President Trump to serve in his administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Aviation and International Affairs. He was sworn into office by the Secretary of Transportation, The Hon. Elaine Chao, on July 24, 2018.
The Hon. Autumn D. Spaeth, JD 2000, was sworn in as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Central District of California. Spaeth will sit in Santa Ana, the Court's Southern Division. Before her appointment as a Magistrate Judge, Judge Spaeth was a founding partner of Smiley Wang-Ekvall, LLP in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Seth Stodder, JD 1995, a former U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) assistant secretary for border, immigration and trade policy and assistant secretary for threat prevention and security, joined Holland and Knight as a partner in the firm's Los Angeles office. He will represent clients on a wide variety of matters, including transactions before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), international trade and customs issues, immigration and visas, cybersecurity and data privacy, government investigations and national/homeland security.
Shari Swanson, JD 1985, authored her first book, Honey, the Dog Who Saved Abe Lincoln, which is set to be published by Harper Collins/Katherine Tegan Books in spring 2019.
Olivier Theard, JD 2001, received Sheppard Mullin's 2018 Diversity & Inclusion Award, which was created to recognize an individual or team of attorneys in the firm for their commitment to diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives at the firm and in the legal profession.
The Daily Journal selected Lindsay Toczylowski, JD 2008, as one of their Top California Lawyers Under 40 for 2018.
Michael Vaughn, JD 1987, has joined Enterprise Counsel Group and will lead their expanding M&A and transactional practice. Vaughan comes to ECG with over 30 years' experience, including service as General Counsel for two large companies. He is also a City Council Member in the City of Rancho Santa Margarita, where he currently serves as Mayor.
Governor Jerry Brown appointed Michael R. Amerian, JD 1999, to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Amerian served as a deputy city attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office since 2003. Prior to that he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Dickran M. Tevrizian, Jr. at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California.
Robin Bechtold, JD 2002 , joined Munck Wilson Mandala LLP as senior counsel in the Complex Litigation Practice. Bechtold has nearly 15 years of legal experience as a litigator representing clients in business and commercial disputes.
Mark Anthony Catam, LLM 2016, launched Catam Global Law, a full-service law firm specializing in corporate immigration.
Honorable Steve Cooley, JD 1973, a four-decade Los Angeles County prosecutor and three-term-elected District Attorney, co-authored Blue Lives Matter-In the Line of Duty, a book which documents the murders of Los Angeles County law enforcement officers.
Michelle Deutchman, JD 2002 ,was named the first executive director of the UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement. Deutchman has a distinguished record of advocacy and teaching on free speech and other First Amendment issues.
Carlos Dominguez, JD 2005, a deputy attorney general with the State Attorney General's office, is being honored as Volunteer of the Year for his work at the Domestic Violence Clinic run by the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Dominguez will be honored at a luncheon on April 23 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, with an award presented by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Kevin Friedmann, JD 1998, has joined the Los Angeles office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP as a shareholder in the firm's Corporate Practice, which comprises more than 450 lawyers throughout 38 offices. Friedmann focuses his practice on corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions for publicly traded companies.
Los Angeles County deputy district attorney Ken Fuller, JD 2005 is running for Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, Seat No. 126 in the June 5 election. Fuller is a member of the Environmental Crimes Division, holding accountable corporations and individuals that pollute the environment, illegally poach wildlife and produce unsafe work conditions.
Judge Jay Gandhi (Ret.), JD 1997 has joined the JAMS Resolution Center as a mediator, arbitrator, special master and case evaluator in a variety of practice areas including business/commercial, class action/mass torts, financial markets, intellectual property, employment and health care, among others. Previously, Gandhi served for eight years as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Central District of California.
Lisa Lin Garcia, JD 2012 and Lisa K. Horgan, JD 2009 have been elevated to shareholder status at Littler. Garcia represents clients in employment matters involving class actions; she also represents employers in federal and state court litigation and before state and federal agencies. Horgan focuses her practice on employment litigation and advice. She represents clients in state and federal courts throughout California as well as in administrative complaint proceedings and arbitrations.
Miki Goodin, JD 2003 , was elected to Locke Lord's Board of Directors, which helps to direct the firm's vision and strategy and collaborates on other firm-wide initiatives. Goodin focuses her practice on complex intellectual property matters with a primary emphasis on representing pharmaceutical companies in litigation.
Justin M. Goldstein, JD 1998, has been chosen to head the new Litigation practice group of Sklar Kirsh LLP, a Corporate, Real Estate and Entertainment law firm. For the last two decades, Goldstein has represented some of the country's largest and most well-known companies in complex commercial and entertainment litigation.
Feinberg, Mindel, Brandt, and Klein, LLP named Alex Grager, JD 2004, a certified family law specialist, a partner.
Abigail Greenspan, JD 2010, was promoted to Associate Regional Counsel for Litigation for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Region IX. In this role, Greenspan oversees all of the litigation, along with all of the HUD trial attorneys and support staff in the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada. Greenspan holds one of 10 Associate Regional Counsel roles in the U.S.
Kimberley Baker Guillemet, JD 2005, was appointed to a judgeship by Governor Jerry Brown in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Guillemet has served as director of the Los Angeles Mayor's Office of Reentry since 2015. Prior to that, she served as a deputy attorney general at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General from 2008 to 2015.
David Hall, 1988, JD 1991 joined Polsinelli as a shareholder in the firm's Los Angeles office. As a real estate attorney, Hall counsels property owners, real estate investment trusts, developers and institutional lenders guiding them in strategically managing all aspects of their multifamily, office, retail and health care property portfolios.
Ben Jakovljevic, JD 2014, joined ADLI Law Group's civil litigation practice group as an associate attorney with a focus on business and real estate, as well as labor and employment issues. His experience includes preparing pleadings at all stages of litigation in state and federal appeals, and serving as second chair in a federal trial against a foreign sovereign.
Christianne Kerns, JD 1985, a Partner in Hahn and Hahn's Business practice, is among 75 honorees in the Los Angeles Business Journal's special supplement honoring the city's most influential women attorneys.
Christianne Kerns, JD 1985, was named one of the ‘Most Influential Women Lawyers in Los Angeles' by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Kerns, a partner at Hahn & Hahn, is a member of the firm's business practice group. She has extensive expertise in a wide variety of real estate and commercial transactions and general business matters, with emphasis in commercial and real estate finance and finance workouts.
Monique Jewett-Brewster, JD 2001, was appointed Chair of the Business Law Section (BLS) of the California Lawyers Association (CLA). The BLS has more than 8,000 members, publishes definitive legal reports, opinions and practices guides and presents cutting-edge educational programs. The CLA has over 100,000 lawyers and is the largest voluntary professional bar association after the ABA.
Jamie Lacy, JD 2015 has joined the Fort Worth office of Winstead PC as an associate in the Commercial Litigation Practice Group. Lacy's practice focuses on securities litigation and enforcement, white collar-defense, and governmental and internal investigations.
Dale E. Manolakas, JD 1985 has retired from being an administrative law judge and now writes legal thrillers. Rogue Divorce Lawyer is the latest release following The Gun Trial and four others.
Kirk W. McAllister, JD 1969, published The Brady Book, the first work dedicated exclusively to Brady v. Maryland issues of withheld exculpatory information. Noted legal author Larry Pozner describes it as "the bible for seeking, exposing and punishing the deceitful prosecutor."
Washington Supreme Court Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud, JD 1984, is running for re-election, following her election in 2012 after nearly 30 years as a trial and appellate lawyer. Justice McCloud serves as Chair of the Washington State Supreme Court's Gender and Justice Commission and is a member of the State Bar Association's Council on Public Defense.
JAMS announced the addition of Donald L. Morrow, JD 1975, to its panel in Orange County, Calif. Morrow will be joining the JAMS Resolution Center as an arbitrator, mediator and special master in a variety of disputes including antitrust/competition, business/commercial, class action/mass tort, construction, intellectual property and professional liability. He joins JAMS after more than 40 years of significant trial and litigation experience, most recently practicing at Paul Hastings.
Mary Jane Myers', JD 1974, debut collection of short stories, Curious Affairs, will be published in mid-March 2018.
Becky Newman, JD 2010, was selected as a member of the Rautenberg New Leaders Project (NLP) - Class of 2018. Coordinated by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, NLP is a year-long, leadership skill-building program which inspires and elevates new generations of outstanding civic leaders in Los Angeles.
Scott M. Pearson, JD 1994, a litigation partner in Ballard Spahr's Consumer Financial Services Group, has been named a '2018 Client Service All-Star' by BTI Consulting Group. Pearson was one of two consumer financial services lawyers in the country to receive this honor.
David A. Pendleton, JD 1993, is now a partner at Bradford and Barthel, LLP; he joined the firm in 2015 after relocating to Southern California. Prior to this, Pendleton enjoyed a 20-year career in Honolulu, Hawaii as an attorney in private practice, an elected state legislator, an advisor to the Hawaii State Governor and a workers' compensation judge.
Alexa Lawson-Remer, JD 2009, an associate with Sullivan and Cromwell LLP, was recognized by the LGBT Bar as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers under 40. This annual award recognizes LGBT legal professionals who have distinguished themselves in their field and have demonstrated a profound commitment to LGBT equality.
David Ryan, LLM 2015, founded Providential Law, a firm in Palo Alto that specializes in corporate counseling, executive asset protection and family asset protection.
Bet Tzedek will honor E. Randol Schoenberg, JD 1991, at their annual dinner gala on Feb. 1, 2018. Bet Tzedek provides free, comprehensive legal services for low-income individuals and families in Los Angeles.
Nathan A. Schultz, JD 2002 , has joined Fox Rothschild LLP as counsel in the firm's Financial Restructuring & Bankruptcy Department. Schultz is an experienced practitioner in all facets of the bankruptcy process, representing debtors, creditors, official committees, investors, liquidating trustees, purchasers and other parties in bankruptcy court across the country.
Todd Scherwin, JD 2005, managing partner at Fisher Phillips' Los Angeles office, has been named to the Southern California Super Lawyers 2018 Edition. Scherwin has been selected to the list each year since 2015.
Stephen P. Sonnenberg, JD 1992, will be joining the JAMS Resolution Center in New York as an arbitrator, mediator and special master in a variety of disputes including business/commercial, employment, federal and health care. Sonnenberg joins JAMS after 25 years with Paul Hastings where he represented and advised clients in a wide range of employment disputes. During his law practice, Sonnenberg was also a mediator in complex employment matters. He has also mediated numerous matters as a member of the Mediation Panels of the U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Dwight Stirling, JD 2000, a lecturer in law at USC Gould, was a guest on KPCC's Air Talk with Larry Mantle and spoke about the use of National Guard troops on the border. This follows Stirling's article on the control of the National Guard, which was published by the University of Texas.
Bingxi 'Ceci' Sun, JD 2016 has joined the Los Angeles office of Fisher Phillips as an associate. Sun focuses her practice on claims including discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and wage and hour laws. Sun is also a certified mediator with experience before the Small Claims Court, Limited Civil Court and Children's Dependency Court.
J. Michael Vaughn, JD 1987, Counsel to Stuart Kane LLP in Newport Beach, was named Mayor of the City of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Glenda Veasey, JD 1981, was featured in the Dec. 21 issue of the Daily Journal. Veasey has presided over the family law docket for the past 18 years.
The Daily Journal named Perry Viscounty, JD 1987, a partner at Latham & Watkins LLP, as one of the 'Top Cyber/AI Lawyers for 2018.'
Adam Wergeles, JD 1991 joined Leaf Group Ltd. as executive vice president and general counsel. Leaf Group is a diversified consumer internet company that builds creator-driven brands that reach audiences in large and growing lifestyle categories. Previously, he was executive vice president of business and legal affairs as well as general counsel of Serviz, which connects consumers with local electricians, plumbers, and other home services providers through its mobile app.