LACBA Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Honorees

LACBA Celebrates 140 Years of Service to the Los Angeles Legal Community and Recognizes Past and Present Bar Leaders in Honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

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.

Nowland C. Hong-photo
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.

Randall R. Lee-photo
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.

Felix woo-photo
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.

Teresa Y. Lin-photo
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.

Marissa M Dennis-photo
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.

Kristin Oto Jenkins-photo
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.

Sidney Kanazawa-photo
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.

Joo Cha Webb-photo
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.

Paul S Chan-photo
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.

Stewart Kwoh-photo
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.

Ann Park-photo
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.

Michael Tu photo
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.

Ralph Tsong photo
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.

Mia Yamamoto photo
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.

Brian A. Sun photo
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.

Carmela T. Pagay-photo
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.

Gordon K. Eng-photo
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.

Mark T. Hiraide-photo
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.