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Class Notes
Alumni and Giving

Spring 2019

Class Notes

Tell us what you/ve been up to. Land a new job? Relocate to a new city? Recently married? Share your news at alumni@law.usc.edu.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Births

Jason Cosgrove, JD 2006, and family welcomed baby Talia Michelle on December 27, 2018.

Marriage

Abigail Greenspan, JD 2010, married Martha Rivera on December 2, 2018.

In Memoriam

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.

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."

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.

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.

Fall 2018

Class Notes

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.

Births

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.

In Memoriam

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.

Summer 2018

Class Notes

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.

Spring 2018

Class Notes

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.

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.