Class Notes – Spring 2018


James Willett of Downey Brand was named a 2017 Top Lawyer by Sacramento Magazine.


James McManis was on the Daily Journal’s Top 100 Lawyers list and in the Northern California Super Lawyers 2017 Edition. He also received the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists’ James Madison Freedom of Information Award for his firm’s victory in Smith v. San Jose.


Mark Lipton, recently retired as of counsel at Neyhart, Anderson, Flynn & Grosboll, is a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives (79th District).


Chuck Ehrlich and family returned to the Bay Area after two decades in the Midwest and New England, where Chuck was general counsel and chief claims officer of several insurance companies. He is an arbitrator and expert consultant and witness in insurance and business matters.

Jane Kauvar, an Alaska Superior Court judge, will retire in July after 37 years on the bench.

David Stephen Zalob shares the sad news of the passing of his wife, Jana Smith, after a courageous battle with cancer. A longtime nurse, Jana “brought joy to all who knew her … she contributed intelligence, a beautiful smile, a nuanced sense of humor, and a deep understanding of and interest in others.”


Lise Pearlman wrote a new book, Call Me Phaedra: The Life and Times of Movement Lawyer Fay Stender. It chronicles Stender’s remarkable life and career as a rare female criminal defense lawyer and groundbreaking prisoners’ rights advocate.


R. Bradford Huss, managing partner of Trucker Huss and employee benefits specialist, made Super Lawyers’ Top 100 Attorneys in Northern California list for the fifth straight year.


Angela Glover Blackwell received UC Berkeley’s Peter E. Haas Public Service Award. She is the CEO of PolicyLink, which strives to advance economic and social equity.


Robert Listenbee joined the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office to oversee juvenile criminal issues. He was administrator of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention from 2013 to 2017.

Colbert Matsumoto was conferred the 2017 Fall Imperial Decoration by Japan’s government for his work strengthening ties between Hawaii, the U.S., and Japan.

Andrew Parnes, a criminal defense lawyer for 40 years, won the Idaho State Bar’s Professionalism Award for extraordinary activity in the community, state, or profession.


Russell Austin was named the Sacramento County Bar Association’s 2017 Distinguished Attorney of the Year. He is a business law partner at Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld.

Willard “Bill” Carle III received the Sonoma County Bar Association’s highest honor, the 2017 Career of Distinction award. He is a partner at Carle, Mackie, Power & Ross in Santa Rosa.

Judge Kelvin Filer was inducted into the John M. Langston Bar Association of Los Angeles Hall of Fame. He swore in his youngest daughter, Kree, to the California State Bar last year in his L.A. Superior Court before family and friends.

Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, was named the most powerful woman in sports by Forbes.

Scott Tips, president of the National Health Federation, addressed delegates of the Codex Alimentarius Commission meeting held in Geneva. Codex Alimentarius is the highest international authoritative body setting global food standards and guidelines.


Romli Atmasamita was appointed special staff for Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister of Politics, Law and Security. Romli also directs the country’s Institute of Independent Study for Public Policy.

Natalie Gubb, who died in 2016, was honored by Mercy Housing California—which named three new San Francisco affordable housing communities the Natalie Gubb Commons. Natalie co-founded Gubb & Barshay, a law firm that helps nonprofits develop and finance affordable housing.

R. Christopher Locke, senior partner at Farella Braun + Martel in San Francisco, has been elected to the American College of Environmental Lawyers, a professional association of top attorneys dedicated to environmental law’s ethical practice and development.


Joseph Lee was re-elected to a two-year term as president of the Disability Rights Legal Center’s board of directors. He is a litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson.


Joshua Genser became general counsel for C. Overaa & Co. He is the first in-house attorney at the general contracting company, which has operated in Richmond since 1907.

Darolyn Lendio Heim was sworn in as a district judge in Hawaii’s First Circuit after her unanimous confirmation by the Hawaii State Senate.

Martha Jordan received a 2017 Distinguished Alumna honor from Penn State for her service and giving in support of the university.


Maggy Hughes is celebrating her ninth year as the owner of Maggy Hughes Tutoring, which serves middle school, high school, and college students in Marin County and San Francisco. She specializes in helping them improve their reading, writing, and critical-thinking skills.


Laura Clayton McDonnell, a vice president (New York region) at Microsoft, was named to the board of trustees at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City.

Maurice Foley was elected chief judge of the U.S. Tax Court in February. Appointed to the court by President Bill Clinton in 1995, Maurice will serve a two-year term starting June 1.

Nicolai Sarad joined Bracewell’s New York office as a partner in the project finance group. He moved there from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, where he co-led the projects team.


Fernando Aenlle-Rocha was appointed to a Los Angeles County Superior Court judgeship. He had been a partner at White and Case  since 2005.

Nancy Fineman joined the San Mateo County Superior Court bench in December. The former Berkeley Law Alumni Association president had been a partner at Cotchett, Pitre and McCarthy for 21 years.

Sir Rabinder Singh was promoted to the UK Court of Appeal, becoming the first Indian-origin judge elevated to that post.


Carolyn Bell was appointed to a Florida judgeship in Palm Beach County. A federal prosecutor in the state, she previously served as a U.S. Justice Department senior trial attorney.

Andrea Mersel was named a principal partner at Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside in Los Angeles, where she works in the firm’s Family Law Department.


Michael Colantuono, of the firm Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, was elected president of the California State Bar. An appellate specialist and the State Bar’s first openly gay president, Michael was city attorney for Calabasas from 2003 to 2012.

Kenneth Wainstein, former homeland security advisor in the George W. Bush Administration, joined Davis Polk & Wardwell’s Washington, D.C. office. He had been co-chair of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft’s litigation group.


David Aladjem of Downey Brand was recognized as a 2017 Top Lawyer by Sacramento Magazine.

Yusuf Giansiracusa was appointed to the board of directors of soccer franchise Sheffield United F.C., which plays in the English Football League’s Championship level. A partner at Jones Day, Yusuf has practiced in Saudi Arabia for 25 years.



Frank López is the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s new director of New Mexico programs, which supports thriving children, working families, and equitable communities in the state. He had been executive director of NGAGE New Mexico, a nonprofit focused on southern New Mexico.


Amber Rosen became a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge. She had worked as deputy chief at the U.S. Attorney’s Office (San Jose) and as an assistant U.S. attorney.


Daniel Cloherty joined the Boston firm Todd & Weld as a partner. His practice focuses on federal criminal defense


Stephen Charbonnet joined the firm Messerli Kramer (Minneapolis) in its business services group. Previously, he had co-founded and managed a local boutique firm.

Rachel Gonzalez joined Starbucks Corporation as executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary. She had been chief administrative officer for Sabre Corporation.

Marc Katz joined DLA Piper as a partner in the firm’s employment practice and managing partner of its Dallas office.


Tracy Lee Dayton was nominated as a Connecticut Superior Court judge. She is a partner with Levine Lee and a former federal prosecutor.


Bill Grantham retired from Rufus-Isaacs, Acland & Grantham, the Beverly Hills firm he co-founded. He now lives in Ireland and runs Obelisk Media Ireland Limited, a film and TV consultancy, and is a visiting professor at the Institute for Media and Creative Industries on Loughborough University’s graduate campus in London.

Gil Labrucherie was appointed to the board of directors at AntriaBio, a which develops innovative drug therapies for patients with metabolic diseases. Gil, who chairs the board’s audit committee, is senior vice president and chief financial officer of Nektar Therapeutics.


Katrina Lee, associate clinical professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, authored the new book The Legal Career: Knowing the Business, Thriving in Practice.


Miles Cooley joined DLA Piper as a partner in the firm’s Media, Sports, and Entertainment practice in Los Angeles.


Esha Bandyopadhyay joined Winston & Strawn’s Silicon Valley office. She has practiced IP and technology-related commercial litigation and counseling for nearly two decades.

Gabriel Ramsey joined Crowell & Moring as a partner in the firm’s Litigation and Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice groups (San Francisco). He was named one of California’s top 75 IP litigators by the Daily Journal and an “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property magazine.


Alissa Miller was named partner at Akin Gump in Los Angeles. She represents financial institutions, other financiers, producers, and distributors regarding their film, TV, and corporate activities, and advises film and TV clients on tax- advantaged financing and co-production arrangements.

Katherine Prescott returned to Fish & Richardson, where she worked from 2001 to 2009, as of counsel (Silicon Valley office). She spent the prior eight years in private practice and as senior litigation counsel at a Fortune 100 electronics company.

Giesela Rühl and three co-authors have published a four-volume study on private international law that earned the American Society of International Law’s 2018 Certificate of Merit for High Technical Craftsmanship and Utility to Lawyers and Scholars.


Hernando Baltodano was appointed to a San Luis Obispo County Superior Court judgeship. He had been a partner at the employment firm Baltodano and Baltodano since 2011.

Katie Race Brin joined the digital education company 2U as chief privacy officer (CPO). She previously served as CPO for the Federal Trade Commission.


Victor Rodriguez, who as a child helped his immigrant parents clean the local branch of the Alameda County Municipal Court among other buildings in Livermore, was sworn in as an Alameda County Superior Court judge.

Sanna Singer is the Assistant City Attorney of San Diego and leads the Civil Advisory Division of roughly 50 lawyers. The division advises the mayor, council, auditor, and other departments on legal matters, drafts legislation, and issues legal opinions.

Quyen Ta joined Boies Schiller Flexner as partner (Palo Alto office). Her practice focuses on consumer class action defense, IP, and other high-stakes litigation.


Brynly Llyr, general counsel of blockchain company Ripple Labs, was profiled in Corporate Counsel.

Claudia Vetesi was elected partner at Morrison & Foerster (San Francisco). A recipient of the State Bar of California’s Wiley W. Manuel Award for public service, Claudia specializes in consumer class action defense and complex commercial litigation.


Chris Ahearn has been elevated to partner in the Irvine office of the employment defense firm Fisher Phillips.

Brian Gearing joined Crowell & Moring as a partner in the firm’s Intellectual Property Group in New York City. He represents Fortune 100 companies in pre-suit investigations through appeal.

S. Deborah Kang, a Cal State-San Marcos history professor, published The INS on the Line: Making Immigration Law on the US-Mexico Border, 1917-1954. The book traces the conflicts and contingencies that helped shape the border and U.S. immigration law in the 20th century.

Robert Mussig was elevated to partner at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton (Los Angeles). He defends employers in wage and hour class actions and against claims of discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination.

Liu Zhen is senior vice president of Bytedance, the parent company of China’s most popular news aggregator, Toutiao. She previously was head of strategy at Uber China.


Caren (Lerner) Decter was elected partner at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz. She works in litigation focusing on complex commercial disputes, IP, and white-collar defense.

Alicia Gámez received a Bar Association of San Francisco Award of Merit for her stellar work on its Immigration Task Force and its Delegation to the Conference of California Bar Associations. She helped educate lawyers on family preparedness for immigrants and multi-national families.

Lillian Hardy became partner at Hogan Lovells, where she has worked in the Washington, D.C., office for nine years after practicing in San Francisco. Lillian is part of the firm’s Investigations, White Collar & Fraud Group.

Dean Harvey of Lieff Cabraser was recognized by the ABA as one of the top 40 young lawyers in the nation.

Purvi Shah was one of seven people chosen as Open Society Foundations 2017 Soros Equality Fellows from more than 1,000 applicants. The new fellowship aims to help emerging mid-career professionals become innovative racial justice leaders.


Sean Callagy was promoted to partner at Arnold & Porter. He specializes in IP at the firm’s San Francisco office.

Jana Contreras was named shareholder at Miller Starr Regalia in the firm’s Walnut Creek headquarters, where she focuses on complex real estate and commercial disputes.

Daniel Dobrygowski was appointed as head of governance and policy at the World Economic Forum’s new Global Centre for Cybersecurity in New York City.

Corrin Drakulich of Fish & Richardson’s Atlanta office was named one of the 2017 “Women Worth Watching” in a special issue of Profiles in Diversity Journal. She specializes in IP litigation.

2007 (cont.)

Teresa Ghali was promoted to partner at Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger (San Francisco). Named to Super Lawyers’ Northern California Rising Star list for the past eight years, she represents California employers in class actions and single-plaintiff claims.

Jeff Glasser married Dr. Diana Aldape last summer in Dana Point, California. Jeff is vice president for legal at The Los Angeles Times and senior counsel at Tronc, formerly Tribune Publishing.

Grace Ho was promoted to counsel at Vinson & Elkins in Houston, where she works in the Employment, Labor & OSHA group.

Megan Jennings was elected partner at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco. She works in the firm’s Environment & Energy Group and counsels project developers.

Katarzyna Nowak was named a 2017 Rising Star by Northern California Super Lawyers. She is a labor and employment associate at Fisher Phillips’ San Francisco office.

Spencer Pahlke received Stetson Law’s Edward D. Ohlbaum Professionalism Award, which honors an outstanding trial team coach. A shareholder at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly and Schoenberger, Spencer heads Berkeley Law’s trial competitions program.

David Sanker was promoted to partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (Silicon Valley).

Bryant Yang of Irell & Manella (Los Angeles) was recognized by the ABA as a Top 40 young lawyer.


Kathryn Hong has been promoted to counsel at Ropes & Gray’s Silicon Valley office. She works in IP litigation representing clients in patent matters across many technologies.

Monique Liburd, trademark counsel for Google Inc., helped secure a win at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which affirmed that the company’s mark is not generic simply because consumers use “Google” as a verb for web searching.

Maxwell Yim was promoted to partner at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (New York City). He represents private equity firms and public and private companies in varied transactions.


Emily Garcia, an ERISA litigation specialist, joined Trucker Huss in San Francisco. She has been a co-editor of the ABA Annual Review of Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation since 2013.

Allison Wopschall was named a shareholder at Miller Starr Regalia, where she works on business disputes and negotiation. She is also program chair of the Contra Costa County Bar Association’s Real Estate Section.

Meng Ding joined Kirkland & Ellis as a securities partner in its Hong Kong office. A native Chinese speaker with a Ph.D. in physics, Meng had been an associate at Davis Polk, where he advised SEC-regulated securities offers and transactions.

Alyssa Lawson was featured in a Minnesota Lawyer “Up and Coming” profile. An associate at Robins Kaplan in Minneapolis, she mostly represents “companies getting sued over patents that probably shouldn’t have been issued.”

Michael Portnov was elevated to partner at Fish & Richardson (Silicon Valley). He prepares and prosecutes patent applications directed to computer-related technologies.

Jason Romrell was promoted to partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner in Washington, D.C. He helps companies navigate IP disputes and represents clients in litigation and appeals.

Greta Williams was named partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher (Washington, D.C.) in its Litigation, Labor & Employment practice.


Timothy Hughes, an international arbitration and public international law specialist, joined Herbert Smith Freehills’ New York office after three years in its Hong Kong office. In between, he married his wife, Joanne, and spent a year traveling in Africa, New Zealand, and the Americas.

Josh Rosenfeld was named a deputy district attorney in Humboldt County, assigned to the Domestic Violence Unit. He had worked in the Mendocino County D.A.’s Office for more than five years.

Neil Warren was elevated to partner at Fish & Richardson (Silicon Valley). His litigation work focuses on client technologies relating to semiconductors, integrated circuits, medical devices, and computer software.

Ian Washburn was elected partner at Irell & Manella in Los Angeles. He tackles IP and complex business litigation, as well as patent post-grant proceedings.


Chris Foster was promoted to partner at McDermott Will & Emery’s Silicon Valley office. He represents management in labor relations and employment matters.

David Kasher will join the rabbinic team at IKAR, a progressive spiritual community in Los Angeles, in July.

Lisa Poplawski was elected shareholder at Lane Powell’s Portland office, where she advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, securities, corporate finance and governance, and aviation law matters.

Seth Reagan and Anahit Samarjian were promoted to counsel at Perkins Coie. Seth works on copyright and trademark prosecution and enforcement; Anahit represents companies and individuals in commercial litigation.

Holly Roberson joined Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard’s environmental and natural resources group after three years as land use counsel at the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.


Chad Dorr joined Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller & Moskowitz’s business law, real estate transactions, and estate-planning practices (Santa Rosa).

Candace Neal joined the Real Estate Practice Group at Wendel Rosen Black & Dean in Oakland. She is a mentor for the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity, secretary for the Black Women Lawyers of Northern California, and board member for the Center for Youth Development Through Law.

Oscar Sumar co-founded Sumar & Sanchez Abogados, a new Peruvian firm specializing in IP, consumer law, data protection, barriers to commerce, and white-collar crime defense.


Tom Chia was honored by Intellectual Asset Management as one of 2017’s top IP strategists. He is the director of patents and corporate development at Via Licensing, an independent subsidiary of U.S. audio pioneer Dolby Laboratories.

Bali Kumar was named land bank executive director for Wayne County (Michigan). He leads a staff of five employees that manages a fluid database of about 1,700 properties.

Quyen Vo joined Bass, Berry & Sims’ Nashville office as an associate specializing in health care matters.

Lydia Anne Wright and William Brock Most ’11 were married last summer on Marrowstone Island in Washington State. They live in New Orleans, where she is an associate at Burns Charest and he operates his own practice.


François Joli-Coeur joined Borden Ladner Gervais (Montreal) in its privacy and data protection practice group. He previously worked for a media company, supporting its marketing, technology, and operation departments with compliance issues and commercial agreements.


Alexander Stern launched a startup called Attorney IO, which offers an artificially intelligent legal research service that takes in legal documents and suggests relevant additional cases.


Timothy Hsieh is clerking for U.S. District Court Judge Michael Shipp (New Jersey), and later this year will clerk for U.S. Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore (Northern District of California). Each court is among the most active federal district courts for patent litigation and tech law.

Seon Kang co-authored an article on the FCC’s net neutrality regulation. It argues that changing policy to suit an agency’s assessment of needing a new federal regulation should be decided by elected members of Congress, not unelected bureaucrats.

Adam Koshkin married Rebecca Herm in August began a federal clerkship for U.S. District Court Judge Judith Levy (Eastern District of Michigan).