Class Notes

  • Giving Health Care Clients a Valued Voice

    Carla DewBerry’s work in health care law has earned her recognition on The Best Lawyers in America list for each of the past seven years.

  • Making Waves in Hawaii

    Louise Ing ’78 and Colbert Matsumoto ’78 support the Judge Martin Pence ’31 Fellowship Fund, which helps talented Berkeley Law students who are from Hawaii or interested in practicing there.

  • A Rock Solid Decision

    A quest for the right path led Carl Anderson ’62 to a long and fruitful career in law.

  • A Roundabout Route to the Family Business

    For Jennifer Bretan ’04, family lore held that you were destined to become a lawyer, judge, cop, or criminal.

  • From Foster Child to A-List Advocate

    When he’s not representing celebrities, Miles Cooley ’99 helps nonprofits that advocate for foster children. “I want to make sure other kids don’t have it like I did.”

  • Keeping It All in Perspective

    Angel Garganta ’92 brings a commitment to work-life balance and a spirit of collaboration learned at Boalt to his work at Venable LLP.


Kathryn Mickle Werdegar, a California Supreme Court justice, will retire on August 31. She wrote some groundbreaking decisions in her 23 years on the court, including a 1996 ruling that required business owners to abide by civil rights laws despite their religious beliefs. The first woman elected editor-in-chief of the California Law Review, Kathryn previously worked at the U.S. Department of Justice, taught at the University of San Francisco’s law school, and directed the California Continuing Education of the Bar’s criminal law division.


Roy Doolan was born in Manila, Philippines, and spent his formative years there. In his book, My Life in a Japanese Prison Camp During World War II, Roy and his father describe first-hand experiences of what happened in the Philippines during the war.

Michael Halloran joined two longtime friends and colleagues to open Halloran Farkas + Kittila, a national corporate and litigation boutique with offices in Palo Alto; Washington, D.C.; Wilmington, Delaware; and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Michael formerly headed Pillsbury’s Corporate Securities and Financial Practice and was counselor to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman and deputy chief of staff.


Timothy Laddish was named to the Calaveras County Planning Commission in Janaury. A former senior assistant attorney general for the California Attorney General’s Office, Timothy is also a volunteer water tender driver for the Central Calaveras Fire and Rescue Protection District.


Philip Anisman has joined the Ontario Securities Commission as a part-time member.

Bob Rhodes was honored by Leadership Florida with the Governor Le Roy Collins Lifetime Achievement Award.

Robert Freedman retired as a judge of the Alameda County Superior Court on March 31.


Frank Orton received an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from the Széchenyi István University in Hungary, where he has been a visiting professor since 2007. Frank is a former Swedish judge who has served as the Discrimination Ombudsman of Sweden and the Human Rights Ombudsman of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


William Bedsworth, an appellate judge and award-winning columnist, published his third book, Lawyers, Gubs and Monkeys: Laughing at the Law. Robert Lutz, a professor at Southwestern Law School, won the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of International Law’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award. Robert, who co-founded Berkeley Law’s pioneering student journal Ecology Law Quarterly, received his award at the ABA’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco.


Ray Bourhis published his third book, Billionaires and Bagmen: What Happens When a Small Town Takes Them On. He describes his latest effort as “a not very fictional fiction.”


Eric Danoff, a partner in the San Francisco office of Sedgwick LLP, was recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer for Transportation/Maritime on the annual list published by Thomas Reuters. Only up to 5 percent of attorneys in each state are named Super Lawyers.

Albert Maldonado retired from the Monterey County Superior Court in March after 22 years on the bench. The county’s first Latino judge, he says he looks forward to returning to private practice, “where I will initially work as a volunteer attorney with Legal Services for Seniors in Seaside. I also will practice in Palm Springs and Los Angeles.”


Harold Brown was named the Beverly Hills Bar Association’s 2017 Entertainment Lawyer of the Year. Brown, a partner at Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown, has a roster of clients that includes Steven Spielberg, Stephen King, Robert Zemeckis, Heidi Klum, Dwayne Johnson, and Gwyneth Paltrow, among many others.

Bill Sokol has been serving as an appointee of Governor Jerry Brown on the new California Secure Choice Retirement Investment Board.


Arlene Mayerson won this year’s ABA Paul G. Hearne Award. A lecturer at Berkeley Law, Arlene is the directing attorney at the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund.


Constance de la Vega was given the Warren G. Christopher International Lawyer of the Year award by the California State Bar’s International Section in October 2016.

Jon Michaelson is the new managing partner of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s Silicon Valley office in Menlo Park. He acts as trial counsel in cases spanning many disciplines, including intellectual property, employment law, class actions, competition issues, and complex commercial controversies. Jon is also active in various area civic organizations.


Patricia Lucas took office as presiding judge of Santa Clara County Superior Court on January 1, 2017.


Doug Straus was named managing partner of Archer Norris, which has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Walnut Creek. A partner there since joining the firm in 2000, Doug has been a member of the firm’s Management Committee for the past two years. He represents private and public sector clients in such areas as financial services, real estate development and lending, solid waste management, and health care.


Monica Dell’Osso joined Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean as a partner in its trusts and estates practice group. She has more than 35 years of experience in trust and estate law and is a certified specialist in the field.

David Hercher in January became a judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon in Portland.


Keith Hiraoka was appointed to Hawaii’s First Circuit Court by Governor David Ige. Keith had been an attorney at Roeca Luria Hiraoka (now Roeca Luria Shin) in Honolulu, and served as the governor’s campaign manager.


Gregory Brittain was the guest speaker at the San Bernardino County Republican Women Federated’s monthly meeting in February. He is a civil attorney, host of the Unite IE radio show, and a founding organizer of the annual Unite IE Conservative Conference.

Margaret “Maggy” Hughes earned a Master’s in Counseling Psychology at Sonoma State. In 2009, she founded an educational consulting and tutoring business and now serves middle and high school students and their families in Marin County and San Francisco. Margaret specializes in helping students with learning differences succeed in rigorous academic environments.


Ruth Greenberg had a case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on April 19. A criminal defense lawyer, Ruth has represented Kentel Weaver, who in 2003 was a child accused of murder, since his conviction. She says the case’s grapples with “the interplay between the right to public trial and the right to the effective assistance of counsel,” and whether relief will be granted where “the trial lawyer did not know enough about public trial to object to courtroom closure.”


Trina Thompson was appointed to the board of directors for the National Council on Crime & Delinquency. She is a California Superior Court judge in Alameda County.


Uttam Dhillon was appointed by President Trump to join a White House team that will address ethics and compliance matters. Named Special Assistant and Associate Counsel to the President, Uttam previously served as Chief Oversight Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee and as chief of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement.


John Adkins was named the San Diego County Public Law Library system’s director of libraries after nearly 20 years of academic law librarianship. He is also president of the Council of California County Law Librarians and sits on the American Association of Law Libraries’ board of directors. John writes, “I owe my entire career … to former Boalt Hall Law Library Director and Professor Bob Berring. He hired me as his secretary/clerk in 1983 and by his example inspired, challenged, and encouraged me to go to library school and law school.”


Beverly Ortega Babers was asked to serve as the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Agency Transition Director. In that role, she was the senior career Treasury official responsible for ensuring a fluid transition from the Obama Administration to the Trump Administration. Beverly works as the Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget.

Jeffrey Bleich was elected chair of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for 2017. Appointed by the President, the 12-member board oversees the worldwide Fulbright Program. A former U.S. Ambassador to Australia (2009 to 2013), Jeffrey is a partner in the San Francisco office of the global law firm Dentons. He previously served in the White House as special counsel to President Obama and chaired the California State University Board of Trustees.


Juliet Browne, who chairs Verrill Dana’s Environmental Law Group, authored a chapter of the MCLE book, A Practical Guide to Land Use in Maine. The guide covers topics ranging from licensing and permitting to wind energy and shoreland zoning. Juliet authored the chapter on the Maine Wind Energy Act.

Juliet Davison has been appointed by the Boston Bar Association to serve as co-chair of its Solo & Small Firm Section until August 2018. Juliet, who founded Davison Law in 2008, advises employers and employees on their legal rights and obligations and often represents clients in the drafting and negotiation of employment, termination, and severance agreements.

Debra Green Garfinkel returned to full-time work as a writing specialist at Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo in Cerritos, California, after raising three children with her husband. Debra has published 27 children’s books and young adult novels.

Patricia Reilly has been named a “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation – Labor and Employment in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. A shareholder in Littler’s New Haven, Connecticut office, Patricia counsels and represents clients in multiple areas of employment law.

Jonathan Shapiro published the legal thriller Deadly Force, and presented “Pop Culture and the Perception of Justice” with David E. Kelley to a full house at the ABA’s annual meeting in August 2016. An Emmy and Peabody Award winner, Jonathan has written and produced iconic television shows such as The Blacklist, The Practice, and Boston Legal.


Karen Baynes-Dunning, a former juvenile court judge, was honored by the State Bar of Georgia with its Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service. The award hails lawyers and judges in Georgia who have made major contributions to their communities and demonstrated positive contributions beyond their legal or official work.

Daralyn Durie was featured in Northern California Super Lawyers Magazine as one of San Francisco’s top intellectual property attorneys. She practices at Durie Tangri, which she co-founded, and worked with Google on its very first patent case.

Howard Shelanski, a former Berkeley Law professor, joined Davis Polk as a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. A leading antitrust expert with high-level experience at the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, where he served as chief economist (1999 to 2000), Howard is a law professor at Georgetown University. He was counsel at Davis Polk from 2011 to 2012 and returns from the White House Office of Management and Budget, where he was Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs since 2013.


Cynthia Taub was elected partner at Steptoe & Johnson in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. Her practice focuses on myriad environmental regulatory and litigation matters, including biocides regulation, the Clean Water Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act.


Ethan Boyer co-founded the law firm Noonan Lance Boyer & Banach, headquartered in San Diego.

Amul Thapar was nominated by President Trump to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The first South Asian Article III judge, Amul had served in the Eastern District of Kentucky.


Valerie (Horwitz) Alexander was the 2016 commencement speaker at her undergraduate alma mater, Trinity University (Texas). She has been a venture capital consultant, investment banker, executive at two media startups, and screenwriter. Valerie has also written multiple books about happiness as a second language.


Jahna (McGranahan) Lindemuth was named Attorney General of Alaska, becoming only the second woman to hold the position. She took over the state’s 550-employee Department of Law in August. Jahna had been a longtime partner at Dorsey and Whitney in Anchorage.

Jennifer Madden, elected as a judge of California’s Alameda County Superior Court, was sworn in for the position in January.

Ana Penteado (LL.M.) and her husband, Haas School of Business graduate Paulo Penteado, co-authored an article for Australian Corporate Lawyer (winter edition 2016) titled “Alternative Fee Arrangements—a Short Why, When and How.” The article is available at


Khue Hoang joined Hughes Hubbard & Reed as a partner in the firm’s New York City office in January. Khue is an intellectual property and technology lawyer who advises clients on a broad range of patent litigation and licensing matters. She previously practiced law at Ropes & Gray, and was a process and product engineer for Rockwell Semiconductor Systems.


Carrie LeRoy has joined White & Case’s intellectual property practice as a partner in the firm’s Silicon Valley office. She was previously counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Named one of The Recorder’s 2016 Women Leaders in Tech Law, Carrie advises tech companies on IP strategy and mergers and acquisitions. She served as the lead IP attorney for Broadcom Corp. in its $37 billion purchase of Avago Technologies Ltd. in 2015, and for SanDisk Corp. in its $19 billion sale to Western Digital Corp. in 2016.


James Oleson published a book based on his Ph.D. research 10 days before the birth of his first child, Jameson. Criminal Genius: A Portrait of High-IQ Offenders, provides some of the first empirical information about the self-reported crimes of people with genius-level IQ scores. James teaches sociology at the University of Auckland.


Cassie Springer Ayeni has founded Springer Ayeni, where she will continue representing individuals in plaintiff-side ERISA claims, litigation, and appeals. Cassie was recognized this year by Super Lawyers as a Top 100 Attorney and Top 50 Woman Attorney in Northern California. She is also a past recipient of the Daily Journal’s Top 20 under 40 award.

Seth Shelden recently completed a Fulbright Specialist grant, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, teaching intellectual property law at Toyo University in Tokyo.


Meredith (Stow) Markwell was named an attorney Of Counsel at the Las Vegas law firm Maupin ∙ Naylor ∙ Braster. A complex commercial litigation lawyer, Meredith focuses on appellate work and complex business disputes. She has also won multiple awards for her pro bono work.

Hannah Sholl was honored for her pro bono work by the New York Law Journal, which featured her accomplishments in its 2016 Lawyers Who Lead by Example publication. The article highlights key pro bono endeavors Hannah has taken on, and offers her perspective on opportunities she has created for others and her own development as a lawyer.


Shannon Armstrong was honored in the 2016 issue of Oregon Super Lawyers as a Rising Star. The publication identifies the top 5 percent of attorneys in the state, as chosen by their peers and through the independent research of Super Lawyers magazine. Shannon is a trial lawyer with Markowitz Herbold in Portland. Her cases involve a wide range of business issues that include contract disputes, partnership dissolutions, breach of fiduciary duty, and class actions.

Mark Massoud was named to the 2016 class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows. An associate professor in the Politics Department and Legal Studies Program at UC Santa Cruz, Mark has won the American Political Science Association’s Corwin Award for best dissertation in public law. His research focuses on law and society in conflict settings and authoritarian states, and on Islamic law and society.

Ann O’Leary, a former lecturer at Berkeley Law, joined Boies Schiller Flexner’s Palo Alto office as a partner in the firm’s Crisis Management and Government Response practice. She will provide legal counsel to leaders and organizations in the corporate, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors. Ann previously served as senior policy advisor to Hillary Clinton in her Presidential campaign and as senior fellow at the Center for American Progress’ economic policy team.

Daniel Tristan joined Baker Botts as a partner in the firm’s Houston office. His clients include lenders and borrowers involved with international and domestic financing, including asset-based financings, working capital credit, commercial paper programs, project finance, and acquisition financings.

Robert Vartabedian, a partner at Thompson & Knight, has been selected for inclusion in Benchmark Litigation’s Under 40 Hot List for 2016. Benchmark Litigation identifies the leading U.S. trial attorneys and firms at the local and national levels, and recognizes exceptional partners 40 or younger.


Ed Fierro, a former official of the SEC’s Office of Municipal Securities, has joined Bracewell LLP as senior counsel in the firm’s Houston office. He serves as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, and underwriter’s counsel as part of Bracewell’s public finance practice, advising clients on legal, regulatory, and policy issues.


Jacqueline Beaumont was named to Super Lawyers’ list of Southern California Rising Stars for the fifth straight year. A shareholder at Call & Jensen in Newport Beach, Jackie defends and advises employers in wage and hour class actions and other employee litigation. She and her husband, Sean McLean, are proud of their two-year-old son and are expecting to grow their family in the fall.

Annisah Um’rani was named a partner at Akin Gump in Washington, D.C. As part of the firm’s health practice, Annisah represents medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, hospital systems, and other health care entities in governmental investigations, internal investigations, and lawsuits. She also represents hospitals in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement and enrollment litigation.


Michael Lii has joined Schiff Hardin as counsel in the firm’s Dallas office, working in the Finance Group with a focus on energy and financial institutions. He previously worked at Thompson & Knight in Dallas, where he represented banks and borrowers in commercial finance transactions that mainly dealt with the oil and gas industry.


Jean-Paul Cart has been promoted to partner at Schiff Hardin in the firm’s San Francisco office. He focuses on commercial litigation spanning business torts and commercial disputes, including consumer class actions, trademark infringement, securities fraud, derivative class actions, licensing and contract actions, insurance disputes, and privacy litigation.

Keith Hiatt joined the Silicon Valley nonprofit software company Benetech as Vice President of Human Rights. He had served as director of the Human Rights and Technology Program at Berkeley Law’s Human Rights Center, and will continue as a research fellow there. Keith also works as administrator of the Technology Advisory Board for the International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor.


Jonas Lerman recently moved back to San Francisco after five years on the East Coast. He is an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. Previously, Jonas worked as an international lawyer at the U.S. Department of State.

Aurelio Pérez has been elevated by Littler from associate associate to shareholder. Working in the firm’s San Francisco office, Aurelio is a management-side attorney who advises and represents employers, handling labor disputes and employment litigation or helping employers avoid such disputes.


Fatima Abbas became the first Native woman and the youngest-ever general counsel for the Karuk Tribe, which is California’s largest federally-recognized tribe. She previously served as deputy attorney general for the Colorado River Indian Tribes. Fatima is also an executive member of the ABA Young Lawyers Division Women in Practice Committee.

Joshua Johnson recently celebrated his second jury trial win defending tenants from eviction. In both trials, he obtained a 100 percent reduction in rent for his clients due to their landlords’ failure to provide livable conditions. Joshua is a trial attorney at Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, a nonprofit, direct services law firm for poor and low-income people in the city.


Donnie Morgan is Chief Litigation Counsel for the City of Indianapolis. He previously spent the first three-plus years of his career as a litigator at Faegre Baker Daniels. In his new role, Donnie oversees all litigation for the nation’s 14th largest city while focusing his own docket on appellate advocacy.


Shepard O’Connell joined Brooks Pierce in its Raleigh, North Carolina office. Fluent in Spanish, she works in the firm’s international law practice group and focuses on commercial litigation and international arbitration. She previously worked at Arnold & Porter representing multinational corporations and foreign governments in disputes arising under bilateral investment treaties.

Michel Sancovski (LL.M.) was made partner at Baker McKenzie Brazil (Trench Rossi e Watanabe Advogados). Michel focuses on anti-corruption law, corporate cross-border investigations, M&A due diligence, and the implementation of compliance programs.


Zehra Betul Ayranci (LL.M.) received the International Bar Association (IBA) 2016 global scholarship from its IP, Communications & Technology Law section for her article “Digital Death: What Happens to Your Digital Assets When You Die?” IBA is the world’s largest international organization of law societies, bar associations, and individual lawyers. Zehra will speak at its annual conference this fall in Sydney.

Mindy Phillips was featured in an Emerson Collective article about her immigration work in Oakland public schools. An Equal Justice Works fellow at the East Bay Community Law Center, Mindy offers free legal counsel on immigration matters to students and their families.