Class Notes

  • Kassa

    The Activist Entrepreneur

    “We try to reach people at bus stops, restaurants, hair-braiding salons, churches, mosques, and festivals—instead of waiting for them to have an urgent situation and not know where to turn,” he says.

  • Sara Terheggen '07

    Bridging Silicon Valley’s Gender Divide

    As a California delegate to the Vision 2020 Campaign for Equality, a national effort to advance women’s economic and social status, Terheggen developed a think-tank series that focuses on increasing the number of women in leadership positions.

  • John Knox

    Bonding Over Home Improvements

    As a proud Richmond native and resident, John Knox is determined to improve quality of life in his oft-maligned East Bay hometown. As Richmond’s bond counsel, his outside-the-box thinking is helping to make that happen.

  • Trailblazing Dealmaker Charts Independent Path

    After earning her JD, Lichter left Berkeley for Los Angeles. From the outset, she represented independent filmmakers, directors, and writers—but artists became a greater focus as the entertainment industry itself became more inclusive.

  • Long Shot Proves A Natural

    The press consistently underestimated O’Callaghan’s skill and luck. He’d already staged a come-from-behind win for office and launched the career of his other favorite student, Harry Reid.

  • Bill Bagley

    A Strong Advocate For Civil Rights…And His Alma Mater

    Undergrad UC Berkeley valedictorian at age 20 and Phi Beta Kappa, he later made Law Review and was in the first class to graduate from the then-new Boalt Hall.


Robert Stone recently became of counsel with the personal injury trial firm AgnewBrusavich in Torrance, California, where he still actively represents clients and their families in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Now in his 62nd year of trial work, Robert continues to enjoy the practice of law and derives much satisfaction from helping his clients.


Robert McNulty celebrated the 40-year anniversary of founding Partners for Livable Communities, which has grown into a national coalition for upward mobility for low-income families, at a gathering in Washington, D.C. In recent years, Robert has been a global fellow in Resiliency and Sustainability at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars; a visiting researcher at the Smith School, a joint venture of Oxford University’s Said Business School and Center for the Environment; a visiting fellow at Kellogg College; and a policy fellow resident at the Rockefeller Foundation.


Leroy Wilson, Jr. was the gala dinner speaker at the Black Lawyers Association of South Africa’s Annual General Meeting in October. He discussed “breaking out of the cocoon of fear” to meet the challenge of trying cases, the failure of South Africa’s government to retain more black lawyers, and “a topical issue involving the glaring absence of black lawyers” in a massive class action suit brought on behalf of black miners and their families. Leroy also accepted an offer to serve as an external consultant for the law firm Lembede Tambo Pitje in Tshwane (Pretoria).


Russ Atkinson had his sixth Cliff Knowles mystery novel, Behead Me, published in February. His second book in the series, Cached Out, was recently recorded as an audiobook by a professional voice actor. Russ says, “All my books are based in part on actual cases I worked or became familiar with in my FBI career.”


David Carlyon published two items since last year, a scholarly article and a trade book. The article explores a possible but previously unnoticed influence on the Gettysburg Address, “From the Broadway Tabernacle to the Gettysburg Battlefield: Did Edwin Forrest Influence Abraham Lincoln?”, Theatre Survey 56:1 (Jan. 2015), 71-94. The book, The Education of a Circus Clown: Mentors, Audiences, Mistakes (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), is a combined memoir and exploration of learning the craft of comedy with a live audience.


Stuart Brotman has been appointed, with tenure, as the inaugural Howard Distinguished Endowed Professor of Media Management and Law and Beaman Professor of Communication and Information at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. The 40th edition of his treatise, Communications Law and Practice, has been published by American Lawyer Media. It is the leading reference volume on domestic and international telecommunications and electronic mass media regulation.


Diane Citrino was one of three Northeast Ohio attorneys recognized for their pro bono work in a Best Lawyers magazine cover article titled, “Giving Credit Where It’s Due.” In it, Diane describes how pro bono work has enhanced her life and practice. She also shared her perspective on how pro bono work enables lawyers to expand their skills while delivering an invaluable service to deserving people in the community.


Paul Lewis Abrams was nominated by President Obama to serve on the U.S. District Court, Central District of California. Paul has been a magistrate judge with the court since 2002, and serves as a judicial officer in the court’s Conviction and Sentence Alternatives Program. Previously, he spent 14 years as a deputy federal public defender in Los Angeles, acting in a supervisory role from 1992 to 2001.


Laura Clayton McDonnell has joined Microsoft as general manager of the company’s New York Metro District. She will help lead efforts to deliver solutions and programs that support education, job creation, digital government, and civic competiveness. Laura brings a wealth of knowledge in sales management, as well as legal experience, most recently in executive roles at Aspect Software, IBM, Sun, and Apple.

Peter Reich, professor of law at Whittier Law School, coached Whittier’s student team to a second-place finish in the State Bar of California Environmental Negotiations Competition for 2016. A member of the Whittier faculty since 1988, Peter directs the school’s Environmental Law Concentration, as well as its Mexico City Program at the Universidad Iberoamericana.

Marc Zeppetello began serving as chief counsel of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission in September 2015.


Timothy Moppin, president of the Bar Association of San Francisco, has joined Bassi Edlin Huie & Blum as a partner. He brings 25 years of experience to the firm, which defends clients against toxic tort, environmental law, business litigation, product liability, construction law, and employment law claims. Timothy defends corporate, municipal, and individual clients in complex employment issues and also handles environmental litigation and construction law matters.


Renata Hesse was tapped by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to head the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. She had served as the division’s Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Criminal and Civil Operations for almost four years. A trial attorney in the division between 1997 and 2006, Renata spent the last four of those years leading its Networks and Technology Section. She has also served as a senior counsel to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and oversaw the agency’s review of AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile.

Allan Marks was named to the board of directors of the Family Violence Appellate Project, California’s only nonprofit dedicated to appealing cases on behalf of domestic violence survivors and their children. A partner at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy’s Los Angeles office, Allan will help the organization expand its efforts in Southern California. Selected by The Daily Journal as one of the state’s Top 50 Development Lawyers, he is consistently ranked as one of the world’s leading project finance lawyers by Chambers Global, IFLR, and Legal500. Allan is also a lecturer at Berkeley Law and serves on the advisory board of the school’s East Bay Community Law Center.


Eric Loumeau was appointed general counsel and chief compliance officer at Otonomy, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. Otonomy focuses on the development and commercialization of innovative therapeutics for diseases and disorders of the inner and middle ear. Eric has more than 23 years’ experience as in-house legal counsel and compliance officer for several biopharmaceutical companies, and as outside corporate counsel supporting health care and technology-based client companies.

Robert O’Brien launched Larson and O’Brien, a litigation boutique firm, with 10 other lawyers. He and Stephen Larson are the name partners. The firm will focus on complex litigation, internal investigations and white-collar matters, arbitration, and state and federal appellate work. A former U.S. Representative to the U.N. General Assembly, Robert is the former California managing partner of a national firm and grew its office from 10 lawyers to more than 100 in seven years. He has represented clients in numerous high-profile litigation matters, and The Daily Journal named him one of California’s Top 100 lawyers.


Rachel Lerman was elected vice president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, a national civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C., that is known for its work fighting anti-Semitism in higher education. She has served on the organization’s board of directors and legal advisory board since 2012. A partner in Barnes & Thornburg’s Los Angeles office, Rachel co-chairs its appellate practice group. Listed in The Best Lawyers in America and named to Los Angeles Magazine’s “Super Lawyers” list every year from 2003 through 2015, she also received the ACLU’s First Amendment Award in 2012.


Tracy Lee Dayton was appointed Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Connecticut. She joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2007, and has served as chief of the Violent Crimes and Narcotics Unit and as senior litigation counsel. Since 2012, Tracy has been a member of the Attorney General’s Review Committee on Capital Crimes. She previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York, and as a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles County.


Mark Gardberg joined the Las Vegas office of Howard & Howard Attorneys in September. His practice focuses on corporate and transactional business matters, mainly in mergers and acquisitions, real estate deals, debt and equity financings, and asset sales. He has coordinated deals in Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Hungary, Macedonia, Croatia, and the United Arab Emirates. Previously, Mark spent five years in Geneva overseeing a mass-claims compensation program for World War II-era property losses. John Pearce has been appointed to serve as a justice on the Utah Supreme Court by Governor Gary Herbert. A Utah Court of Appeals judge since 2013, John also chairs the state judiciary’s Standing Committee on Technology and is an adjunct professor at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law. He was general counsel for Utah’s Office of the Governor from 2009 to 2013.


Steve Goorvitch was appointed to the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, by Governor Jerry Brown on November 17, 2015. He had worked as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice for eight years and at O’Melveny & Myers for four years.


Niloofar (Nejat-Bina) Shepherd has joined Creative Artists Agency (CAA) as an executive in the office of the general counsel. CAA is the world’s leading entertainment and sports agency representing some of the most iconic talent, with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Nashville, London, Beijing, Stockholm, and Mumbai. Niloofar’s in-house practice encompasses general litigation, employment advice and counsel, and transactional matters.


Katherine Prescott joined the San Mateo-based law firm Miclean Gleason as of counsel. She previously worked at WilmerHale, and as senior patent counsel for Apple Inc. At Apple, Katherine set litigation, trial, and settlement strategy for patent and consumer class-action litigation, U.S. International Trade Commission investigations, and post-grant U.S. Patent and Trademark Office proceedings. She litigates patent and trade-secret cases involving a wide range of technologies, including computer and network security, user interface design, secure messaging, medical devices, and turbocharger manufacturing.

John Therien has been named a North Carolina “Rising Star” for the seventh straight year by Super Lawyers, a rating service of outstanding lawyers in North Carolina who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The Rising Star category honors lawyers 40 years old or younger, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less. A partner at Smith Anderson, John advises a broad range of clients in commercial transactions involving intellectual property matters.


Sonal Mehta was elected unanimously to the board of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California’s Federal Practice Program. The program is the continuing legal education wing of the court, and seeks to promote dialogue between the bench and the bar. Sonal and board treasurer Angel Garganta ’92 are former students of Berkeley Law lecturer Henry Hecht, an at-large member of the board.

Katherine Race Brin was named chief privacy officer (CPO) of the Federal Trade Commission. She joined the agency in 2007, and had served as acting CPO since December 2014. Katherine coordinates efforts to implement and review the agency’s policies and procedures for safeguarding all sensitive information. She also chairs its Privacy Steering Committee and the Breach Notification Response Team.

Jennifer Stroffe was promoted to shareholder at Friedman Stroffe & Gerard, a transactional and litigation firm based in Irvine. With more than 13 years’ experience in complex business and real estate transactions, Jennifer acts as outside general counsel to various businesses ranging from startups to national companies. Her practice focuses on structuring, negotiating, and closing commercial transactions. Before beginning her law career, Jennifer was a Division 1 volleyball starter for both UC Santa Barbara and Michigan State, and earned Academic All-American honors.


Margaret Richardson left her post as chief of staff and counselor to former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to join Covington & Burling. Working in the firm’s global public policy and white collar defense & investigations practices, Margaret provides strategic advice to clients regarding challenges at the intersection of law and public policy. Before joining Holder’s staff in 2012, she played key roles on President Obama’s 2008 campaign and later joined his presidential transition team. Previously, she worked at Berkeley Law’s East Bay Community Law Center as a practice director and supervising attorney.


Eric Ball has been elected partner at Fenwick & West. He represents technology clients in trademark litigation and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) disputes, and has substantial experience in trade secret, copyright, and complex commercial litigation matters. Eric’s legal insights have been quoted in leading national and legal publications, including Bloomberg BNA and Corporate Counsel.

Naomi Tsu was promoted to deputy legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Immigrant Justice Project, which advances the rights of immigrant workers, children, and families through impact litigation and policy work. Naomi was one of the trial attorneys in a history-making case against a maritime services company in Mississippi that defrauded and exploited workers through a labor trafficking scheme. Last year, a federal jury awarded $14 million in damages to five Indian guest workers after finding that the company engaged in labor trafficking, forced labor, fraud, racketeering, and discrimination. Naomi’s legal team won the Public Justice Foundation’s 2015 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.

Robert Vartabedian, elected partner in the Fort Worth office of Thompson & Knight in February, was selected for inclusion in Texas Rising Stars 2016 by Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers. The Texas Rising Stars represent the top 2.5 percent of Texas attorneys who are 40 years old or younger, or those attorneys who have been practicing for 10 years or less. The list was published in the April 2016 issue of Texas Monthly. Robert was also named to Fort Worth Magazine’s 2015 list of Tarrant County’s Top Attorneys in oil and gas.

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Joshua Weishart received this year’s Professor of the Year award from the West Virginia University College of Law. Before joining the school in 2012, Joshua was an associate at Severson & Werson in San Francisco, where he practiced financial service litigation on various consumer-related matters, including complex nationwide class actions and appeals. He then served as a law clerk to Judge Robert King of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


Dawn Belt has been elected partner at Fenwick & West. She advises technology companies—including Dropbox, Facebook, and GoPro—on myriad transactional matters. In 2015, she represented BuzzFeed in its $200 million financing, Corium in its $52 million follow-on public offering, AltSchool in its $100 million financing, Google Capital in leading a $100 million equity investment in CrowdStrike, and Sony Corporation in its acquisition of Optical Archive, Inc.

Christina Hioureas addressed the U.N. General Assembly in November about the International Court of Justice’s role in the peaceful settlement of disputes—in conformity with justice and international law. She discussed the U.N. Charter’s function in establishing the international court as its main judicial organ, and touted the importance of an integrated and coordinated approach to dispute resolution through negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. An associate in Chadbourne & Parke’s New York office, Christina pushed for universal acceptance of the international court’s compulsory jurisdiction over all states and noted key cases from the past year.

Kasia Nowak was named to Super Lawyers’ list of the top women attorneys in Northern California. The list was published in the December issue of San Francisco Magazine. She was previously named to the Northern California Super Lawyers 2015 Edition – Rising Stars, which recognizes the region’s top up-and-coming attorneys. An associate at Fisher & Phillips, Kasia’s practice involves employment-related litigation, including defending employers against claims of discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination.

Timothy Yoo was elected a principal of the Los Angeles-based litigation firm Bird Marella. Before joining the firm, he worked for WilmerHale and served as senior litigation counsel for the largest entertainment and media conglomerate in South Korea. There, Timothy managed international disputes involving intellectual property licensing, copyright, and trademark infringement—resulting in multiple arbitration awards in favor of his client and reduced risk exposure by millions of dollars.


Michael Lii, a partner at Thompson & Knight’s Dallas office, was selected for inclusion in Texas Rising Stars 2016 by Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers. The Texas Rising Stars represent the top 2.5 percent of Texas attorneys who are 40 years old or younger, or those attorneys who have been practicing for 10 years or less. The list was published in the April 2016 issue of Texas Monthly. Michael specializes in securities and corporate finance.

Christopher Yeh received the Keta Taylor Colby Award from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. The award recognizes pro bono attorneys who have provided outstanding representation to poor and underrepresented people through the Committee’s Second Chance Legal Clinic. A trial lawyer at Duane Morris, Christopher is a member of his firm’s Pro Bono Committee, and of the Pro Bono Advisory Committee for Asian Americans Advancing Justice—Los Angeles.


Joanna Lydgate was named Director of Policy for Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Joanna has worked for Healey, the nation’s first openly LGBT state attorney general, since June 2014. Previously, she was a law clerk at the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and served as an assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.


Kelly Margolis Dagger, a litigation associate at Ellis & Winters in Raleigh, North Carolina, became secretary of the Federal Bar Association’s Eastern District of North Carolina chapter. She was also elected to the North Carolina Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Section Council, and began serving a three-year term in July 2015.

Fanxi Wang joined the Los Angeles office of Bird Marella, which litigates complex civil and white-collar criminal matters, as an associate. Fluent in Chinese, Fanxi has represented U.S. and international companies in securities and M&A litigation, and worked on class actions involving product liability and false advertising. She is also a member of her firm’s entertainment practice group.


Corey Laplante recently formed The Associates Committee to promote philanthropy and civic engagement among young corporate lawyers. Members support legal aid and related nonprofits, and help guide grant recipients. A litigation associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Los Angeles, Corey helps recruit members to make annual contributions, then pools and awards them to deserving public interest organizations.


Paul Cox has joined Ellis & Winters in Raleigh, North Carolina, as an associate in the firm’s litigation practice. Prior to joining the firm, he served as a law clerk to Judge Raymond Fisher on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Before law school, Paul worked as a legislative aide to North Carolina Congressman David Price and helped draft the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s annual budget.

Antonio Ingram will clerk for federal district court Judge Ivan Lemelle in New Orleans starting this fall. A litigation associate at Morrison & Foerster’s San Francisco office, Antonio will subsequently clerk for 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Roger Gregory in Richmond, Virginia.

Michael Johnson joined the real estate practice at Phillips Nizer’s New York office as a transactional associate. Previously, he was a startup consultant and a legal fellow of the New York State Housing Finance Agency.

Michel Sancovski (LL.M.) wrote an article in Ethisphere Magazine that addressed compliance and anti-corruption in Brazil, specifically the role of compliance officers in the country’s regulation. He is an associate attorney at Trench, Rossi e Watanabe Advogados, a Brazilian firm.