LACBA Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Honorees

LACBA Recognizes Past and Present Bar Members in Honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month


2022 Honorees:

Esther K. Ro

Esther K. Ro has been a member of the Executive Committee of LACBA’s Litigation Section since 2018, where she co-chaired three committees: Brown Bag Lunch, Legislative, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. She is a senior appellate attorney with the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, and previously a litigation partner with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where she represented clients in consumer class actions and business disputes. In 2009-2010, Ro completed an Equal Justice Works/Americorps fellowship with the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (now Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles), where she defended Korean immigrant homeowners who were victims of a loan modification scam. Ro obtained her law degree from UCLA School of Law, with a specialization in Critical Race Studies, and her undergraduate degrees in political science and comparative studies in race and ethnicity from Stanford University.

In 2018, Ro was recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the “Most Influential Minority Lawyers” in Los Angeles County. She has been a long-time governor of the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance, where she co-founded the Civic Engagement Committee, which takes affirmative steps to effectuate structural change that promotes racial and gender equity in the legal profession and beyond. Ro is a member of the California Civility Task Force, for which she spearheaded the Task Force’s report on addressing bias driven incivility in the practice of law. In her free time, Ro enjoys cooking, being in nature, and reading. Some of her favorite authors are bell hooks, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jeanette Winterson. She thinks a lot about what success looks like and how to live a life where one’s values and priorities are aligned.   

c_Cat Zhang
Cat Zhang

Cat Zhang is a managing associate in Sidley’s Century City office and is a member of the M&A and Private Equity practices. Prior to joining Sidley, Zhang served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Christina A. Snyder of the United States District Court for the Central District of California and was a pro bono fellow at Public Counsel, where she worked on impact litigation. Zhang also participated in Sidley’s summer associate program in 2016. In addition to being a LACBA member, she serves as a board member for the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance

Zhang earned her J.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, where she was chief managing editor of the UCLA Law Review and editor-in-chief of the Dukeminier Awards Journal of Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Law. While in law school, she was a Masin Family Academic Excellence Award scholar. Zhang received a B.A., magna cum laude, in psychology and political science from Wellesley College.

c_Lisa Kang
Lisa Kang

A Deputy Alternate Public Defender for Los Angeles County, Lisa Kang represents people accused of having committed crimes who cannot afford a lawyer. Prior to working at the Alternate Public Defender’s Office, she worked for the L.A. County Public Defender’s Office as a Deputy Public Defender.

Kang received her law degree from NYU School of Law, where she interned for the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Detainee Abuse and Accountability Project, the Bronx Defenders, the Public Defender Service of Washington, D.C., and the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn’s Juvenile Defense Division. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern California, where her work with the ACLU SoCal’s Jail Project inspired her to dedicate her professional life to social justice, especially in the context of the criminal justice system.

In addition to serving on the governing board of Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance, Kang is the immediate past chair of LACBA’s Criminal Justice Section’s Executive Committee. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, reading novels, and taking care of her many animals and houseplants.

Nisha Vyas

Nisha Vyas is a Senior Attorney with Western Center on Law & Poverty. With a background in community law and fair housing, Vyas’ advocacy is rooted in the belief that all persons should have access to safe and affordable housing of their choice.

Prior to joining Western Center, Vyas was the Directing Attorney of Public Counsel’s Homelessness Prevention Law Project. She also worked with Public Counsel’s Community Development Project, where her work included providing counsel to community-based organizations. With two Public Counsel colleagues, Vyas was a fellow in the 2017 class of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law’s Racial Justice Training Institute.

Vyas started her career as a staff attorney and later became deputy litigation director for the Southern California Housing Rights Center. In 2010, she was selected as the Jay M. Spears Clinical Teaching Fellow by Stanford Law School. As a Clinical Lecturer and Teaching Fellow with Stanford’s Community Law Clinic, Vyas trained and supervised law students in the representation of low-income clients in a variety of matters.

Vyas is a member of LACBA’s Government section and serves the Board of Directors for Hollywood Community Housing Corporation. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and UCLA School of Law, where she completed the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy



2021 and Prior:





Harumi Hata-photo
Harumi Hata

Harumi Hata is Counsel with Buchalter and a member of both the Corporate Group and Japan Practice Group. Ms. Hata has been practicing law for over 30 years representing clients throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia/Pacific Rim, including Japan. Her practice covers corporate, business and transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions, most of which are cross-border and international in nature. She serves many of her clients as outside counsel as their in-house and general counsel, working closely with clients on day-to-day business affairs, operations and objectives and providing strategic advice. Over the years, Ms. Hata has represented regulated entities, including insurance and insurance holding companies, and Fortune Global 500 companies. In addition, Ms. Hata represents high net worth individuals and families with respect to the assets, including real estate assets, held in the U.S.

Ms. Hata was born in Kyoto, Japan, and grew up in Japan and the U.S. She is a native Japanese and English speaker. Ms. Hata represents clients utilizing her bilingual language skills.

Ms. Hata has served LACBA for many years. She previously served on LACBA’s Board of Trustees and currently serves on the Executive Committee of LACBA’s Business Law Section (a recent combination of the Business and Corporations Law Section and the Corporate Law Departments Section), having previously served as the Chair of LACBA’s Business and Corporations Law Section.

In addition, Ms. Hata previously served as the Chair of the International Law Section of The State Bar of California. She currently serves as the Vice President of the Japanese American Bar Association (JABA); a Council Leader with the U.S.-Japan Council; a member of the Board of Advisors of World Trade Center Los Angeles; and a member of the Board of Trustees of Ramona Convent Secondary School.

Eduardo Angeles-photo
Eduardo Angeles

Eduardo (“Eddie”) Angeles currently serves as a Senior Assistant City Attorney for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, assigned to the Los Angeles World Airports (“LAWA”) Legal Division providing in-house legal services to LAWA which is responsible for the oversight and governance of LAX and Van Nuys Airports in Los Angeles County. He serves as an executive member of legal team responsible for one of the largest public private partnership (“P3”) infrastructural projects in the United States which is a design-build-finance-operate-maintain (“DBFOM”) for the Automated People Mover (“APM”) and Consolidated Rent-A-Car Facility projects under the Landside Modernization Access Program (“LAMP”) at LAX. He is also primary counsel for the other high profile LAX developments such as the Century Cargo Complex, Northside Development Campus District, and the Facilities Maintenance Utilities Group campus (FMUG).

Prior to his current position, Mr. Angeles served as a Presidential Appointee as the Federal Aviation Administration’s Associate Administrator for Airports. He oversaw a $3.5 billion annual Federal airport grants program and passenger facility charge collections totaling $2 billion. He also managed programs for national airport planning and development, including safety standards, design and engineering, certification, environmental processing and financing.

Mr. Angeles earned his undergraduate degree from University of California at Santa Barbara and his law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He has served as an Adjunct Faculty Member at Loyola Law School and California State University of Los Angeles, and served on the State Bar of California’s Committee of Bar Examiners. Mr. Angeles was also an elected school board member on the Jefferson Union High School, Governing Board of Trustees and previously a Governor Brown appointee to the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians.

He is married to Evelyne and they have two adult sons: Dannie, who is a resident emergency physician in New York, and Andrew, who is also a graduate of U.C. Hastings College of the Law and will start his legal practice after the bar exam at Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP in the Fall of 2019.

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Anh Truong

Anh Truong is the Supervisor of the anti-human trafficking program at the LA City Attorney’s Office. He chairs the Labor Trafficking Subcommittee of the LA Regional Human Trafficking Task Force and is a member of the Asian Pacific Islander Human Trafficking Task Force. He drafted legislation specifically to expand state civil abatement laws to address human trafficking, and has brought civil actions against Motel 6 and others under this new section.

Anh previously served as the Assistant Supervisor of the Civil Nuisance Abatement Section, with a focus on Business and Professions Code section 17200, to rid problem properties of narcotics, gang-violence and other illegal activities. Notably, he handled and supervised over 60 consolidated complex cases in the Central Civil West Courthouse, and subsequently prevailed on summary judgment in 27 cases against 87 defendants. During this time, Mr. Anh also secured a series of favorable published appellate decisions. In 2017, the ADL recognized him with the Sherwood Prize for his work to combat the San Fernando Valley Peckerwoods, a white supremacist gang. His acceptance speech on behalf of the LAPD, ATF and LA City Attorney team can be found here: 

Mr. Anh has served as an officer of the Asian Pacific City Attorneys Association, and the Mayor had appointed him to the LA City Quality & Productivity Commission. He started his legal career with Alschuler Grossman Stein & Kahan LLP. While in law school, Mr. Anh consulted for the Appointed LA Charter Reform Commission as well as the Pasadena Charter Reform Taskforce. He is a former Coro Fellow, and previously served as Special Assistant to LA City Attorney James K. Hahn. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley’s School of Law and Occidental College.

Mr. Anh’s maternal grandparents came from Guangzhou; his paternal grandparents are Hakka. Both sets immigrated from China to Vietnam. When he was 4, Mr. Anh and his family fled Vietnam in 1978 by boat. They are forever grateful to America for the opportunity to start a new life here in 1979.

Minah Park-photo
Minah Park

Minah Park is a Deputy City Attorney with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. She is assigned to the Harbor Department where she is engaged in transactional matters representing the Port of Los Angeles. Prior to joining the Harbor Department, she was a Neighborhood Prosecutor where she worked on community-based programs focused on quality of life issues and also worked in the Finance Division representing the City on business tax matters. She is on the Board for the Asian Pacific American City Attorney’s Association.

Ms. Park began her legal career as a staff attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles as a member of the impact litigation team where she represented low-wage workers and consumers in a variety of labor and civil rights matters. She is a member of LACBA’s Access to Justice Committee.

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Hon. Wendy Chang

The Honorable Wendy Chang is a Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, appointed by Governor Brown on June 1, 2018, and currently assigned to Department 94 (Limited Civil Jurisdiction) in the Stanley Mosk courthouse. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Chang was a civil litigator and counselor, with a focus on the representation of lawyers, as a Partner in the law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP.  She is a long-time volunteer for the State Bar of California, currently serving as a member of the Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services, and formerly serving as an Advisor to the State Bar of California's 2014 Rules Revision Commission, and as former chair to its Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct.  She is a former member of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, as well as its Judicial Advisory Committee, and a former board member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Women Lawyers.  In addition to serving as an advisor to the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Judge Chang remains active with the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.  Ms. Chang is also a former member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's State Appellate Judicial Evaluation Committee and its Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee, and served as a past chair of the Appointive Office Committee for the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.

Kenneth T. Fong-photo
Kenneth T. Fong

Kenneth T. Fong has been a Deputy City Attorney in the Land Use Division of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for eighteen years. Prior to joining the office, he was in private practice for twelve years where he specialized in land use and real estate law. He handles land use litigation at the trial and appellate levels in both state and federal courts. In particular, he has become well known as an authority on First Amendment sign law. His most memorable case in that regard, Metro Lights, LLC v. City of Los Angeles, was before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where he prevailed over opposing counsel Professor Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School.

Mr. Fong also advises the Planning Department and the Building and Safety Department on a variety of legal issues, including First Amendment law and telecommunications law. He previously served as Vice-Chair of the Real Property Section of the State Bar of California, as a Trustee for the Los Angeles County Bar Association and as President of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association. He is a current member of the Board of Trustees for Westridge School for Girls. He earned his J.D. from Loyola Law School where he was an Editor of The Law Review.

Harsh P. Parikh-photo
Harsh P. Parikh

Harsh is a Senior Health Care Associate at Arent Fox where he counsels clients in the health care industry in a wide range of regulatory and transactional matters. Mr. Parikh specializes in fraud and abuse compliance, licenses and permits, as well as False Claims Act internal and government investigations. His regulatory practice includes: corporate practice of medicine, medical staff law, scope of practice, reimbursement, coding and billing, health reform, privacy (HIPAA and similar state laws), managed care, Medicare and Medi-Cal. Mr. Parikh is a trusted advisor on complex business arrangements involving physicians, hospitals, mental health providers, drug and device manufactures and health plans.

Earlier this year, the American Bar Association recognized him with its 2019 Emerging Lawyers in Healthcare Award.

Mr. Parikh is an active member of the bar and the community. He is an Executive Committee Member of LACBA’s Healthcare Law Section, and was also appointed to the joint LACBA-LACMA Committee on Biomedical Ethics.

He is Past President of the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California (SABA) and serves as a member of SABA’s Steering Committee. Mr. Parikh is also involved with the Inner City Law Center (ICLC)’s Pro Bono Council and works to expand ICLC’s pro bono program and advocate for low-income clients lacking safe and affordable housing.

Aimee Contreras-Camua-photo
Aimee Contreras-Camua

Aimee Contreras-Camua is a Partner at Pircher, Nichols & Meeks LLP, a premier real estate law firm. Ms. Contreras-Camua's practice focuses on sophisticated real estate transactions, including mortgage and mezzanine financing, acquisitions and dispositions of single assets, equity interests and portfolio transactions, mortgage origination for commercial mortgage-backed securitization programs, sale-leasebacks, joint ventures and leasing. She has extensive experience in representing institutional lenders, real estate funds, opportunity funds, investment banks, life insurance companies, major residential developers and other real estate investors in a broad range of real estate transactions.

Ms. Contreras-Camua is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Real Property Section and a past recipient of its Real Property Section Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award. She is also the 2019 recipient of the Philippine American Bar Association Trailblazer Award, and currently is on the Board of the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance and is the Co-Chair of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Real Property Committee. She received both her undergraduate degree and her J.D. from UCLA.

Jeanne L. Nishimoto-photo
Jeanne L. Nishimoto

Jeanne L. Nishimoto is the Supervising Attorney of the Preventing and Ending Homelessness Project at Inner City Law Center, where she oversees a team of attorneys and advocates that provide holistic legal services to people currently experiencing or at imminent risk of homelessness. Prior to joining Inner City, Jeanne worked at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. She focused on issues relating to housing and government benefits and later oversaw the Pro Bono Training Institute, a statewide collaboration that provides trainings to legal services volunteers throughout California. She has presented at several state and national legal conferences on strategies to leverage technology and volunteers to close the justice gap. Jeanne is the Immediate Past President of LACBA’s Barristers/Young Attorneys Section and Vice Chair of the Diversity in the Legal Profession Committee.

Alisa S. Edelson-photo
Alisa S. Edelson

Alisa S. Edelson is Counsel in Klinedinst’s downtown Los Angeles office. Ms. Edelson has significant experience in the areas of business, professional liability, entertainment and intellectual property law. She regularly represents individuals and companies in state and federal courts on disputes involving unfair competition, defamation, trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract, copyright and trademark infringement, idea submission and wrongful termination. She also helps clients protect their brands and enforce their intellectual property rights through the use of due diligence, clearances, prosecution and IP management.

After earning her undergraduate degree from UC Irvine, Ms. Edelson went on to Loyola Law School, where she served as Executive Editor and Chief Production Editor of the Entertainment Law Review. She also had the honor of serving as a judicial extern for the late Honorable Stephen M. Hillman of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Ms. Edelson believes in actively giving back to the legal community, and currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association.

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Celene Chan Andrews

Celene Chan Andrews is a partner at Kasdan LippSmith Weber Turner LLP. She has achieved over $160 million in settlements for her clients nationwide.

Admitted to practice in California and Hawai‘i, Celene litigates class actions, mass torts, construction defect and personal injury cases.

Celene graduated cum laude from UCLA and received her Juris Doctor from UC Hastings. During law school, she served as a judicial extern to the Honorable David A. Ezra in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii. Following graduation, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Alan S. Gold in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

In addition to the outstanding results achieved for her clients, Celene has received numerous accolades and honors from her colleagues including Top 10 Under 40 Attorney in California (National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys), Top 40 Under 40 Attorney (National Trial Lawyers), Super Lawyers Rising Star, Up-and-Coming 50 (Women Southern California Rising Stars), and Up-and-Coming 100 (Southern California Rising Stars). 

Celene values giving back to her community with the same passion she brings to representing her clients. The Legal Eagles Pro Bono Clinic awarded Celene the 2013-14 Volunteer of the Year. Celene received the 2016 President’s Award from the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association (SCCLA). Celene currently serves as the SCCLA Treasurer and Co-Chair of the Communications Committee, Co-Chair of the Communications/Website Committee for the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s (LACBA) Litigation Section Executive Committee, and Co-Chair of the Mass Torts and Class Actions Committee for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).

Emily Kuwahara-photo
Emily Kuwahara

Emily is a litigation partner in Crowell & Moring's Los Angeles office. Emily has a broad-based litigation practice, focused on high-stakes commercial disputes at both the trial and appellate court levels, defending companies and higher education institutions, as well as representing them as plaintiffs in offensive cases.  Emily has also represented clients in criminal antitrust matters and grand jury investigations, particularly in Japan.  She currently serves as Vice President of the Japanese American Bar Association and has previously served on the boards of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County and the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance.  In 2018, she was recognized as one of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Best Lawyers Under 40.

Christina Yang-photo
Christina Yang

Christina Yang is Pro Bono Director & Legal Counsel for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA.  Advancing Justice-LA is the nation’s largest Asian American legal and civil rights organization that serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. The organization provides direct services to individual clients; engages in policy advocacy; litigates impact lawsuits; and provides social change-based leadership training.  As Pro Bono Director, Yang cultivates and leads volunteer involvement programs to support Advancing Justice - LA’s work, including developing opportunities for pro bono attorneys to expand the reach of the organization’s work. Yang also focuses on strengthening relationships between Advancing Justice - LA and key pro bono stakeholders like private attorneys, law firms, corporations, bar associations and law schools. Finally, she is also responsible for the day-to-day oversight of both legal and non-legal volunteer operations.  

As Legal Counsel, Yang provides in-house legal support and advice to the management team and senior leadership regarding general business operations, compliance and risk management. She also works across the organization to identify, assess, and reduce legal and business risks. She collaborates with IT on privacy and data security matters. Finally, she advises and counsels organizational leadership concerning contracts and MOUs, as needed. In this role, she engages pro bono counsel to support as appropriate.  

Yang is a board member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County, and is currently Co-Chair of its Public Appointments and Judicial Endorsements committee, as well as President-Elect on the Executive Committee. She is also a member of the Pro Bono Coordinating Committee for the State Bar's California Commission on Access to Justice, as well as LACBA's Access to Justice Committee. Yang is a graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Law, and received her undergraduate degree summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.  During law school, she was a Publishing Editor for the California Law Review and a Senior Articles Editor for the Asian American Law Journal.  

Yang was also recently selected as the 2019 Dale Minami Public Interest Fellow.  The Minami Fellowship was established in 2008 to provide critical financial support to outstanding law school graduates who commit to serving the public interest.

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Gary Tokumori

Gary Tokumori is a shareholder at Parker, Milliken, Clark, O’Hara & Samuelian, APC, specializing in the areas of business, commercial and financial services litigation.  He has tried and argued cases at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal courts throughout California.  In addition to his general business litigation background, Mr. Tokumori has extensive experience in the creditors’ rights arena, securing prejudgment remedies in the course of representing banks and finance companies through all phases of complex commercial litigation.  He also has significant expertise in the prosecution of voidable transfer actions and in the defense of financial institutions against operations and lender liability claims.  

A Los Angeles native, Mr. Tokumori received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School.  He was previously Board Chair of Inside Out Community Arts, a nationally acclaimed arts education program for underserved youth, and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Remedies Section and on the Board of Governors of the Japanese American Bar Association.

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Hon. Robert Kwan

Judge Robert Kwan serves on the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, the largest bankruptcy court in the country, with 20 judges. Judge Kwan’s case docket in the court’s Los Angeles Division includes both consumer and business bankruptcy cases. Before his appointment in 2007, Judge Kwan spent most of his legal career with the U.S. Department of Justice, first as a civil rights attorney, enforcing the Voting Rights Act, and then as a civil tax attorney, with “Main Justice” in Washington, D.C. After a short stint in private practice, Judge Kwan was an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, litigating civil and bankruptcy tax cases and prosecuting criminal tax cases. Judge Kwan regularly speaks at bar programs on bankruptcy and tax topics and has been active in the bar, particularly LACBA, serving on various committees, including several stints as a LACBA trustee, and was one of the organizers of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the James T. King Southern California Bankruptcy Inn of Court. According to his cousin, Judge Michael Kwan, of the Taylorsville, Utah, Municipal Justice Court and president of the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad this year, their great great grandfather was one of the some 12,000 Chinese railroad workers who largely built the Central Pacific Railroad portion of the transcontinental railroad from Sacramento to Salt Lake up through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a remarkable engineering feat requiring arduous work in difficult and dangerous conditions. Judge Kwan thinks it has been an incredible journey for his family starting with an immigrant from a farm village in Hoiping (Kaiping) District, Kwangtung Province, China, passing through the Golden Gate, working as a coolie railroad laborer to five generations later, in all walks of life in America, including members of the judiciary. Judge Kwan is the first federal bankruptcy judge of Chinese ancestry.

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Catherine Endo Chuck

Catherine Endo Chuck is president of McBirney & Chuck, PC, a boutique law firm where she primarily practices corporate, real estate and nonprofits law. Prior to commencing her legal career, she was an analyst for the Los Angeles Community College District, administering the District’s contracting and risk management programs. In her legal practice, Ms. Chuck has extensive experience in complex corporate and business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, financing transactions and operational matters for diverse businesses ranging from Fortune 500 companies to closely held corporations, professional corporations, nonprofit organizations and public entities.

Ms. Chuck is the president-elect of the Japanese American Bar Association, chairs its Corporate Affairs Committee and also served on the JABA Educational Foundation board of directors.  She is a past president of the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance. Throughout her legal career, Ms. Chuck has remained committed to community service. She is a past president of the California Association of Nonprofits, past president of the Asian Pacific Community Fund, past chair of the steering committee to form Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches, and former member of the Japanese American National Museum Audit Committee.

Ms. Chuck served on the California State Bar Business Law Section’s Nonprofit Corporations & Unincorporated Associations Committee and the Executive Committee of LACBA’s Business & Corporation Law Section. She was a recipient of the American Bar Association Small Firm Section’s Difference Makers Award and the Japanese American Bar Association’s Service Award.

Nadine Shu Rong Tan-photo
Nadine Shu Rong Tan

Nadine Tan is an associate at the law firm of Parker, Milliken, Clark, O'Hara & Samuelian, APC, which has been a fixture in the Los Angeles legal community for over 100 years. She litigates contract, employment, and professional negligence disputes and advises on labor and employment issues. She is a member of Parker Milliken’s hiring committee. After graduating from the USC Gould School of Law, Nadine clerked for the Honorable S. James Otero of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. She is an active member of the Board of Governors of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association, where she serves as the Co-Chair of Communications.

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Hon. Wesley L. Hsu

Judge Wesley L. Hsu is a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge assigned to the Family Law Division. Judge Hsu’s Courtroom is in Pomona where he has sat since he was appointed by Governor Brown in November 2017. Prior to being appointed to the bench, Judge Hsu served as the Deputy United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. In that role, Judge Hsu supervised all of the divisions of the office: Civil, Criminal, National Security and Tax. Prior to being promoted to the DUSA position, Judge Hsu served as the Executive Assistant United States Attorney, supervising all of the administrative operations of the office. From 2008-15, Judge Hsu served as the Chief of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section where the prosecutors brought cutting-edge prosecutions with nation-wide impact in the areas of computer hacking, intellectual property crimes and cyber exploitation. Judge Hsu currently teaches Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes at Loyola Law School, is a member of the board of governors for the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance and is a former president of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association.

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Hon. Dolly M. Gee

U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee is a former partner at Schwartz, Steinsapir, Dohrmann, & Sommers LLP. After graduating from UCLA School of Law, she clerked for Hon. Milton L. Schwartz, U.S. District Judge in the Eastern District of California. She joined her law firm in 1986 and became a partner in 1990. While at the firm, she specialized in the fields of labor law, workplace harassment and employment discrimination. She was a former member of the LACBA Board of Trustees and is a co-founder of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County and the Multicultural Bar Alliance. In 2009, President Barack Obama nominated her to the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and the Senate confirmed her by unanimous consent on December 24, 2009. Then Senator Barbara Boxer praised her confirmation, saying, “as a daughter of immigrants from rural China, she personifies the American dream. She used her position as a prominent attorney in Los Angeles to promote racial tolerance and fight for justice for those who face discrimination.” Upon her confirmation, Judge Gee became the first Chinese American woman to serve as a federal judge.

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Staci M. Tomita

Staci M. Tomita is a partner at Shumener, Odson & Oh LLP, where she litigates complex business disputes with a focus on commercial real estate and finance. She has represented a broad range of clients – from international private equity firms to individual owners – on a wide range of matters, including fraud, breach, construction defect, landlord/tenant, partnership disputes, quiet title, adverse possession, waste, violation of restrictive covenants and easements, trade secret, unlawful detainer and foreclosures.

Before joining Shumener, Odson & Oh LLP, Staci litigated commercial disputes at DLA Piper LLP (US). She earned her J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, and her B.A. in Sociology and Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley, Phi Betta Kappa.

Staci has been named a Southern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers and is a Governor and the Secretary on the Board of the Japanese American Bar Association, in addition to a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Litigation Executive Committee. She also co-authored the article entitled “Boilerplate Breakdown,” which was published in the January 2015 edition of Los Angeles Lawyer.

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Eric D. Chan

Eric D. Chan is a partner in the litigation department of Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, P.C. He is co-chair of the firm’s Recruiting Committee, as well as co-chair of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.  

Mr. Chan’s practice is focused on complex business litigation and arbitration on behalf of providers, with an emphasis on managed care litigation and health information technology (HIT). Mr. Chan’s health care and litigation experience encompasses a broad range.  He has first-chaired jury trials and administrative proceedings to verdict, and has obtained favorable outcomes for his clients in arbitration and on summary judgment.  Mr. Chan regularly writes and speaks on a variety of issues relating to ERISA and the Affordable Care Act.  He is also a member of the firm’s Fraud & Abuse Practice Group.  

Mr. Chan’s practice also reflects a high degree of proficiency with technology. He has expertise in the areas of electronic health records (EHR), large scale electronic discovery, social media, and cloud computing. He also has experience litigating issues relating to EHR technology on behalf of health systems and other providers.   

Mr. Chan received his B.S. degree in Cybernetics, summa cum laude, from University of California at Los Angeles. He received his J.D. degree from Stanford University, where he was Co-Editor-In-Chief of Stanford Technology Law Review and a Student Fellow in the Stanford Cyberlaw Clinic. After graduation, he clerked for the Hon. Mariana R. Pfaelzer of the Central District of California.

Beti Tsai Bergman

Beti Tsai Bergman is an attorney and counselor at law dedicated to serving her clients with judgment, courtesy, and diligence. In 1997, she started her legal career as a business litigator and then joined the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office in 2003 where she was civil litigator handling nuisance abatement matters. Beti is now a certified specialist in estate planning, trust, and probate law. She is the founder and principal shareholder of Peninsula Law, A Professional Law Corporation, representing conservators, trustees, and executors, as well as, heirs and beneficiaries in uncontested and contested trust and estate matters involving elder abuse, trust contests, and beneficiary rights. Beti is currently a member of the LACBA Trusts & Estates Executive Committee, a probate co-chair of the South Bay Bar Association, has earned a Master Advocate Designation from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and has served on the Los Angeles Superior Court Probate Volunteer Panel since 2008. She also is the current president of the Asian Pacific Lawyers Alliance and a past president of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association.

Sophia Mei-Ling Chang-photo
Sophia Mei-Ling Chang

Sophia Mei-Ling Chang focuses on all areas of transactional real estate law, and represents governmental entities, healthcare providers, developers and other property owners in connection with their diverse real estate needs, including acquisitions, sales, options, leases, financing, joint ventures, and land use. She also represents commercial lenders in real estate financings. Ms. Chang previously served as a commissioner for the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission. In that capacity, she was responsible for making regional planning decisions and reviewing zoning administrator decisions, as well as evaluating applications and appeals for conditional use permits, land use entitlements, zone changes, subdivisions and community and specific plans.

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Nowland C. Hong

Nowland C. Hong is of counsel with Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Municipal Law practice group. During his five decades of experience, he has handled many trials and appeals in the state and federal courts representing major public agencies, special districts and private corporate and individual clients. The matters include complex litigation, class actions and representative suits encompassing a wide range of issues. He is ranked an Advocate in the American Board of Trial Advocates. Nowland has received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association. He is one of the founding members of the SCCLA and has served twice as its president. Nowland is Immediate Past Chair of LACBA's Senior Lawyers Section.

Nowland's father, You Chung Hong, was an Asian American attorney and influential figure in the Chinese American Community during the 20th century. He was the first Chinese American admitted to practice law by bar examination in 1923. Ten years later Hong went on to become the first Chinese American Eligible to appear before the Supreme Court of the United States.

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Randall R. Lee

Randall Lee's practice focuses on representing companies, financial services firms and individuals in investigations by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Department of Justice, and other regulatory and law enforcement agencies. He has led internal corporate investigations on behalf of management and boards of directors in the US, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, and he represents companies in complex civil litigation in federal and state court. Mr. Lee is the founding partner of WilmerHale's Los Angeles office, and joined the firm after serving as Regional Director for the Pacific Region of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from 2001 to 2007, and before that as an Assistant US Attorney in Los Angeles.

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Felix Woo

Felix Woo is a partner in Dentons’ Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice, and is the West Coast Practice Lead for the Firm’s Commercial and Business Litigation Practice Group. Over the past 18 years, Felix has handled high-stakes commercial litigation and class action matters involving virtually every industry and legal issue. Felix has litigated disputes over unfair competition and antitrust/anticompetitive issues, business tort and fraud matters, trademark and trade dress infringement, and trade secret misappropriation. Felix also has substantial experience prosecuting offensive contract and tort litigation matters (including many on contingency arrangements). Felix also acts as an advisor to a number of the Firm's clients across practices areas and disciplines, leveraging his knowledge of his clients' business and the Firm's broad experience and geographic capabilities to devise practical solutions. Currently, Felix is on the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Board of Trustees.

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Teresa Y. Lin

Ms. Lin is a seasoned litigator at Hersh Mannis, LLP, a boutique law office specializing in family law. Ms. Lin has extensive experience in and out of the courtroom, reaching favorable results for her clients through settlement and trial. In 2017, Ms. Lin was named among top lawyers to watch by Variety magazine’s Annual Legal Impact Report. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Lin served as a Legal Research Attorney for the Family Division of the Santa Clara County Superior Court, where she analyzed motions and provided recommendations to judicial officers on a variety of issues in family law cases. Ms. Lin received her undergraduate degree from UCLA, and her JD from the University of Michigan Law School. Ms. Lin is a member of the Family Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Ms. Lin is also dedicated to giving back to her community, a pledge she took and has remained committed to since her first year of law school at Michigan. She currently volunteers with the LACBA Domestic Violence Project. Teresa Lin has been volunteering with LACBA Domestic Violence Project since 2017. "Every month, she takes time to come into the clinic to help victims; showing compassion and respect for each person she assists," says Sara Rondon, Director of the Domestic Violence Legal Services Project.

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Marissa M. Dennis

Marissa M. Dennis is a litigation partner at the Los Angeles office of Allen Matkins. Marissa's litigation practice is focused on commercial, real estate and financial services litigation and she currently leads the firm's FinTech Litigation Initiative. Marissa commonly represents commercial landlords, tenants and developers in a variety of breach of contract and tort actions, as well as national lenders and servicers in complex consumer finance litigation. Marissa also has extensive experience representing technology companies in unfair competition and false advertising claims. Marissa has chaired numerous jury trials, bench trials, and arbitrations, and has argued before the California Court of Appeal and federal and state courts throughout California.

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Kristin Oto Jenkins

Kristin Jenkins is an associate and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. She is a member of the firm’s Health Care Practice. Ms. Jenkins was a summer associate with Foley, where she gained experience in the area of health care law. A volunteer with the LACBA Domestic Violence Legal Services Project, Kristin Jenkins brings kindness and compassion to assist the most vulnerable part of the population. "Her warm demeanor and professionalism are all valued by our clients and staff," says Sara Rondon, Director of the Domestic Violence Legal Services Project.

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Sidney Kanazawa

Sidney Kanazawa, Partner at McGuireWoods LLP, uses his extensive trial, crisis and negotiating experience to bring people together -- rather than divide them. Whether it is connecting with clients, co-counsel, witnesses, opponents, judges or juries, Sid understands that persuasion begins with listening and developing trust. Sid serves as General Counsel of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), and is a frequent lecturer on mediation and litigation issues.

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Joo Cha Webb

Joo Cha Webb, associate at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, litigates a variety of claims in the areas of commercial litigation, products liability, environmental and toxic tort. She has experience defending against a wide range of catastrophic personal injury claims as well as breach of contract claims, and has defended clients from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies around the United States. She has also been volunteering with LACBA Domestic Violence Legal Services Project since 2017, bringing with her a keen understanding of the law. "She is committed to assisting the victims of violence the Project sees and helping them take their first step to escaping the abuse," says Sara Rondon, Director of the Domestic Violence Legal Services Project.

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Paul S. Chan

Paul S. Chan is the managing principal of Bird Marella. His practice focuses on the trial and arbitration of complex business disputes, including commercial fraud, class action, securities, and intellectual property litigations. Paul also represents companies and individuals in regulatory and parallel civil/criminal investigations. He has particular expertise litigating cases involving the False Claims Act, civil RICO statutes, unfair competition and theft of trade secrets. His clients include Fortune 500 corporations, major financial institutions, and emerging technology companies.

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Stewart Kwoh

Stewart Kwoh is the founding President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles. Kwoh is a nationally recognized leader and expert in race relations, Asian American studies, nonprofit organizations and philanthropies, civil rights, and legal services. He was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 1998, becoming the first Asian American attorney and human rights activist to receive this highly prestigious recognition, often referred to as the “genius grant.” In 1983, Kwoh co-founded Advancing Justice-LA, the nation’s largest Asian American legal and civil rights organization that serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Advancing Justice-LA’s mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.

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Ann I. Park

Ann I. Park served as President of the Korean American Bar Association of Southern California in 1996, and has been active in LACBA as a Member of the Board of Trustees, and Chair of LACBA’s Diversity in the Profession Committee. Since 2007, Ms. Park has been responsible for coordinating LACBA’s High School Mentoring Program, which brings lawyers, judges, and prominent speakers to local high schools to serve as mentors in encouraging students to enter the legal profession. In 2009, Ms. Park received the State Bar’s Diversity Award and LACBA’s Patricia Phillips Committee Service Award, and in 2016 she received the Presidential Recognition Award from the State Bar of California for her work promoting diversity in the legal profession. As a Partner at Pond North LLP, Ms. Park has concentrated her practice in defending the Firm’s national clients in complex toxic tort liability actions. Ms. Park is currently an Assistant Vice President of LACBA.

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Michael Tu

Michael Tu is a partner in Orrick’s securities litigation group. His practice focuses on litigation and counseling under the federal and state securities laws, mergers and acquisitions lawsuits, regulatory investigations and proceedings, securities and corporate governance advice, and business litigation and trade secrets disputes. He has also represented numerous board committees and accounting firms in connection with investigatory and litigation matters, and advises multi-national corporations and executives based in Asia and Europe with respect to business disputes and securities matters. Michael is recognized as a leading trial lawyer who has successfully prosecuted and defended numerous trials to verdict in federal and state courts, and is among the few lawyers in the country who have defended a securities class action trial to verdict. His representation of clients in high-profile securities and corporate governance disputes has been widely covered in the media, and he is recognized by Chambers USA as a leading practitioner in Securities Litigation. Michael is a member of the executive committee of LACBA's Litigation Section.

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Ralph M. Tsong

Ralph Tsong, principal attorney at Tsong Law Group, is an attorney with eighteen years of experience. He began his career with national employment law firm Littler Mendelson in Chicago and was an associate attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. He honed his trial skills working for public law centers Asian Law Alliance in San Jose and Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. Ralph then spent a decade as an attorney representing California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Department of Industrial Relations and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He is licensed to practice in California and Illinois. He is on the board of directors of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association, the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Committee of American Bar Association, Family Law Section, and the Bioethics Committee and Diversity in the Profession Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

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Mia F. Yamamoto

Mia Frances Yamamoto is one of the most distinguished and successful criminal defense attorneys in Southern California. She has tried over 200 jury trials and represented thousands of clients accused of criminal offenses, including murder, assault, sex offenses, drug offenses, theft, white-collar offenses, regulatory offenses and DUI. Mia was named "Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year" for 2002 by LACBA's Criminal Justice Section. She is a former deputy public defender and has been in private practice since 1985. She is the past president of the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, past president of the Japanese American Bar Association, past president of the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance as well as co-founder and past chair of the Multi-Cultural Bar Alliance.

Matthew Kugizaki

Matthew Kugizaki is an associate at the law firm of Loeb & Loeb LLP. He has experience advocating for clients in complex litigation matters in federal and state courts, particularly in fraud and mortgage-backed securities litigation, derivative class actions, contract disputes, real property litigation, and government investigations. Mr. Kugizaki serves as Vice Chair of the Diversity in the Legal Profession Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and he is a co-chair of Loeb’s Los Angeles LGBTQ Affinity Group. Mr. Kugizaki is committed to pro bono representation. He has represented individuals seeking asylum and special immigrant juvenile status, as well as a class of individuals for issues related to telephone access in immigration detention. He is an active member of Loeb’s Pro Bono Committee.

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Brian A. Sun

Brian Sun has earned a national reputation as a distinguished trial lawyer in complex business litigation and white collar criminal defense. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has been named by Lawdragon Magazine as one of America's 500 leading lawyers. Brian is recognized as a Band 1 lawyer by Chambers and listed among the most highly regarded lawyers in the U.S. by Who's Who Legal in the area of business crime defense. Brian is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Litigation Section, and he is Partner-in-Charge at the Los Angeles Office of Jones Day.

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Carmela T. Pagay

Carmela T. Pagay specializes in the representation of debtors, creditor committees, and Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 trustees, and bankruptcy litigation. Ms. Pagay received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. She is a longstanding editorial board member of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine, and has been the Scholarships Co-Chair for the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Foundation Board for several years. Currently Carmela is a partner at Levene, Neale, Bender, Yoo & Brill L.L.P.

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Gordon K. Eng

Gordon Eng has over 25 years of experience as a business lawyer including working at national law firms in NY and CA and service as general counsel for an international private investment company. Gordon, currently has his offices in Torrance, CA, focuses on corporate and real property transactions, affordable housing and financing. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Asian Business Association a non-profit focused on development of Asian owned businesses and Habitat for Humanity Greater Los Angeles, and has helped organize educational assistance for rural China. Gordon is currently an editorial board member of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine.

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Mark T. Hiraide

Mark T. Hiraide works in the highly specialized and complex area of the law having to do with business finance and raising capital. He represents entrepreneurs, startups, publicly traded companies, directors and officers, broker-dealers, investment bankers, investment advisers and accountants in civil litigation relating to securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and investment management. Mark was featured on the cover of the December 2016 issue of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine. He also serves on the executive committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Business and Corporations Law Section. Mark is a partner at the law firm of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP.