LACBA Black History Month Honorees

LACBA Recognizes Past and Present Bar Leaders
in Honor of Black History Month


2022 Honorees:


Eric Taylor Headshot
Hon. Eric C. Taylor 

Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, the Honorable Eric C. Taylor was appointed to the Inglewood Municipal Court in 1998 by Governor Pete Wilson. He was then appointed Assistant District Supervising Judge of the Southwest District in 2001, and from 2002 to 2003, he served as the Supervising Judge. In 2011, he was elected to the Superior Court Executive Committee, serving until 2013. In 2003, Judge Taylor was elected the 2003 President of the California Judges Association (CJA) after serving on its board for two years. While president, Former Chief Justice Ronald George appointed Judge Taylor as an advisory member to the California Judicial Council and to the Judicial Council’s Access and Fairness Committee, where he served from 2000 to 2003. In 2015, he became the first judge to be elected for a second time as President of CJA and to again serve on the Judicial Council under Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. Judge Taylor holds a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.


Judge Kazadi Headshot
Hon. Michelle L. Kazadi

Appointed to the bench of the Los Angeles Superior Court by Governor Gavin Newsom, the Honorable Michelle L. Kazadi currently sits in the Family Court Division, where she presides over all matters related to divorce, child custody, visitation, and support issues. She was a Sole Practitioner from 2003 to 2021 and a Certified Family Law Specialist.  Judge Kazadi has served as an Adjunct Professor at West Los Angeles College since 2008 and was the 46th President of Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles. She was an Associate at Pryce Parker Hill LLP from 1999 to 2002 before becoming a sole practitioner. From 2007 to 2013, she worked as a mediator for Peace Talks Mediation Services. Judge Kazadi earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Louisville, School of Law.


Lisa McLean

Lisa McLean is an attorney at Munger Tolles & Olson LLP and is serving as the 47th President of Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles. In her practice, Ms. McLean provides support in varying roles for litigation and corporate teams, including eDiscovery, large-scale document review, and document production. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from USC Gould School of Law.


Daniel Prince

Daniel Princeis a Partner and Vice Chair of the Los Angeles Litigation Department at Paul Hastings. His practice focuses on complex commercial cases, cross-border disputes, corporate and government investigations, and class actions. Mr. Prince serves as Hiring Partner for the office as well as the current president of the John M. Langston Bar Association. He received his Juris Doctor degree from University of Chicago Law School.


Previous Honorees:

Lisa Mattern
Lisa Mattern

Ms. Mattern is an experienced criminal defense attorney whose practice is located in the city of Los Angeles and focuses on the defense of serious felony charges. She is a member of the California Public Defenders Association, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, California DUI Lawyers Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Mexican American Bar Association. She has been admitted to Federal and State courts throughout California. In the course of her extensive experience defending clients accused of a broad array of offenses, she has achieved impressive results including dismissals of charges, as well as verdicts of acquittal following jury trial.

She attended the University of California, Irvine, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. While a student at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, she was a member of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review and completed two legal internships. Ms. Mattern received her J.D. in 1994 and was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1995.

From 1996 to 2000, Ms. Mattern worked for the Law Offices of the Public Defender for the County of Riverside. After that she opened her own law office and worked for a criminal defense panel in Riverside County. During this time, she and her partner, Lori A. Davis, formed Davis & Mattern, LLP in Riverside, a firm dedicated to the practice of criminal defense. In 2000, they relocated to Newport Beach. In 2007, Davis & Mattern, LLP closed their law practice, but Ms. Mattern continued defending clients in private practice. From 2007 through 2011, Ms. Mattern worked as a Senior Attorney for two large criminal defense law firms. In 2016, she renewed her private practice, now under the name The Mattern Law Firm, which is located in the Westwood Gateway area of Los Angeles.

Jamice A. Oxley

Jamice A. Oxley holds dual Bachelor Arts Degrees from Yale University in American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies and a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School. She is a member of Pryor Cashman’s Intellectual Property, Media + Entertainment and Digital Media Groups where she provides strategic counsel to writers, directors, producers, recording artists, content creators, production companies, music publishers, domestic and international brands, digital media companies, and film and television studios, among many others.

Jamice’s film, television and music clients rely on her shrewd drafting and negotiating skills to maximize and safeguard the value of their intellectual property. She leverages her extensive experience handling copyright and trademark registrations, drafting talent and licensing agreements, structuring film, television and business transactions, and negotiating content acquisition, development, production, and distribution agreements to optimize the strength and visibility of their brands and works.

Having worked at talent agencies, film and television studios, and law firms, Jamice has a keen understanding of the issues that matter most to her business and entertainment clients, and is sought after for her pragmatic approach to resolving them. She also advises start-ups and entrepreneurs on entity formation, protecting and exploiting their emerging intellectual property rights and other complex transactional matters.

Jamice enjoys being an active member of the legal and academic communities. In addition to being a member of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, Langston Bar Associations and the Black Entertainment and Sports Law Association, she serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law Section. She also sits on the Advisory Committee of Ignite, an organization which promotes gender parity in political participation and representation. Jamice also spends time each year interviewing high school students as a Yale Alumni Admissions interviewer and has served on the Marlborough School Alumnae Council Board for the past 9 years.

Terrence M. Franklin
Terrence M. Franklin

Terrence M. Franklin, Partner at Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise, is a seasoned attorney with over a quarter century of experience handling trust and estates and probate litigation, disputes and appeals. His breadth of experience underscores the firm's long-standing reputation and the reason clients turn to the firm for complex cases involving significant dollar amounts.

Mr. Franklin has extensive trial and appellate experience, including successful published appeals and the landmark Moeller case, which was brought before the California Supreme Court. 16 Cal. 4th 1124.

An active member of the trusts and estates legal community, he serves on the Diversity and Inclusivity Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), where he is committed to improving the level of membership and engagement among diverse and minority lawyers. He is working with ACTEC to develop strategies to make the trust and estates practice area more attractive to minority law students and young attorneys, and was instrumental in developing a diversity and inclusivity mission statement for ACTEC, and a fellowship to support potential future fellows in the college. In addition, Mr. Franklin serves on the Board of Regents of ACTEC, the California Membership Committee, and the Fiduciary Litigation Committee.

Mr. Franklin has been recognized by numerous industry rankings, including: named to the 2019 list of "Most Influential Minority Lawyers" by Los Angeles Business Journal; ranked by Chambers and Partners High Net Worth guide in the Private Wealth Disputes category for 2017 and 2018; named to the list of Southern California Super Lawyers every year since 2005; included on the list of the Best Lawyers in America every year since 2011. Mr. Franklin was also named Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year" in 2016 for Trusts & Estates Litigation - Los Angeles which is awarded to individual attorneys with the highest overall peer feedback for a specific practice area and geographic region. Only one attorney is recognized as the "Lawyer of the Year" for each specialty and location.

Last year, Terry was invited to be part of “HistoryMakers” the nation’s largest African-American oral history project, where his interview about his life achievements and experience will be archived at the Library of Congress.  Terry has also made it his mission to help, “Bend the Arc Of History Towards Justice” through projects related to a 2014 discovery that his fourth great-grandfather, John Sutton, a white farmer in Florida, owned his fourth great-grandmother, Lucy, whom John described at his “mulatto slave, aged about 45” in the last will he executed in 1846 emancipating Lucy and their eight children and six grandchildren.  The family’s exodus from slavery after John’s death, and the legal challenge brought by John’s brother,  to try to keep the family in slavery are the subject of presentations Terry has given over two dozen times across the country to lawyers associations and history/genealogy groups, as well the subject of writing projects he works on in his spare time, including a novel and a miniseries script, both titled, “The Last Will of Lucy Sutton”.  He also serves as Co-President of the Board of Directors of Outfest, the leading LGBTQ arts organization.

Byron J. McLain
Byron J. McLain

Byron J. McLain currently is a partner and litigation lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He is a member of the firm’s Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations Practice. He specializes in white collar criminal defense, internal investigations, and general health care litigation.

From 2012 to 2018, Mr. McLain was an experienced federal prosecutor at the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. He was a Deputy Chief in the General Crimes section in the office, where he supervised over 50 junior Assistant United States Attorneys. Mr. McLain also was assigned to the Major Frauds section, where he specifically served as the Healthcare Fraud Coordinator for the office. Mr. McLain specialized in prosecuting cases involving health care fraud, movie investment fraud, tax fraud, mortgage fraud, and securities fraud among other areas.

Mr. McLain graduated from Harvard College in 2000 and Harvard Law School in 2007. He worked at Skadden Arps from 2007 to 2012 before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Judge Brazile
Kevin C. Brazile

Judge Kevin C. Brazile was appointed to the bench in 2002. He is currently the Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court and began a two-year term effective January 1, 2019. He was the Assistant Presiding Judge for two years from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018, and he also served for one year from September 2017 to September 2018 as a voting member on the Judicial Council of California. He was also the Supervising Judge of Civil for the LASC from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016.

Judge Brazile is a member of the court’s Executive Committee and chair of the Civil Subcommittee tasked with developing the vision for how the court will operate in the future. He is also on the court’s Planning and Budget Committee and serves as a liaison with local bar associations and law schools.

Judge Brazile was a member of the Judicial Council’s Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee, and has served on the council’s Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee. He has also held leadership positions with the California Judges Association and served as a panelist and lecturer for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses for judges, attorneys, and local bar associations.

Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Brazile was a civil trial attorney for the Los Angeles County Counsel’s Office.

Dominique Shelton Leipzig

Privacy and cybersecurity attorney Dominique Shelton Leipzig co-chairs the Perkins Coie Ad Tech Privacy & Data Management group. She provides strategic privacy and cyber-preparedness compliance counseling, and defends, counsels and represents companies on privacy, global data security compliance, data breaches and investigations with an eye towards helping clients avoid litigation. A former litigator for 22 years, her compliance counseling includes defending companies under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, attorneys general offices and other regulatory and government authorities. Through these actions and related litigations where she provides subject matter leadership, Dominique is able to advise companies on best practices in privacy, cybersecurity, data, mobile, cloud storage, Ad Tech privacy, Internet of Things, cyber preparedness and other areas of regulatory compliance.

Angel J. Horacek
Angel J. Horacek

Angel J. Horacek is the principal attorney at the Law Offices of Angel J. Horacek, specializing in employment and civil rights law. Prior to starting her own firm, she was an associate attorney at a large national firm and at a boutique plaintiff’s employment law firm. In addition to employment matters, she has handled general business litigation, product liability, entertainment law, and intellectual property matters.

During law school, Ms. Horacek was an extern for the Honorable Andrew J. Wistrich, Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court, Central District of California.

Ms. Horacek was raised in Los Angeles. She obtained both her J.D. and her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

George Fatheree-photo
George Fatheree

George Fatheree is a partner in Munger, Tolles & Olson’s real estate group. He advises investors, developers, lenders and high net-worth individuals in a wide array of large and complex commercial real estate transactions, including joint ventures, acquisitions and dispositions, financings, corporate real estate M&A, fund formation, sports arena/casino deals and leasing and energy transactions.

Mr. Fatheree has been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the California Real Estate category. He was named one of Real Estate Forum’s Top 50 Real Estate Professionals Under 40 and an Outstanding Young Lawyer by the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

Mr. Fatheree has an active pro bono practice and has dedicated thousands of hours to pro bono work, including securing reparations for survivors of the Holocaust; authoring a successful amicus curiae brief to California’s Supreme Court on behalf of public school students with diabetes; representing the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in its acquisition and development of a state-of-the-art performing arts academy; representing charter schools in acquiring, leasing and financing school facilities; advising school districts on education reform issues; and helping students with special needs to help them access educational services. In 2015, Mr. Fatheree co-founded The Associates Committee, a national nonprofit foundation awarding grants to public interest organizations that was recognized by the Financial Times for Innovation in Social Responsibility.

Prior to joining Munger, Tolles & Olson, Mr. Fatheree worked at Skadden, Arps and clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Before becoming an attorney, Mr. Fatheree worked in public education reform as the Chief Operating Officer of the California Charter Schools Association and founded the Charter Schools Legal Defense Fund. He also previously worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company and Booz·Allen & Hamilton. He co-founded govWorks, an internet company, and was named one of Silicon Alley’s Top 25 Minority Entrepreneurs.

Mr. Fatheree serves on the board of Bet Tzedek, a nonprofit law firm providing free legal aid to society’s most vulnerable; the John M. Langston Bar Association, Los Angeles County’s bar association for African-American lawyers; and the Real Estate Executive Council, a professional trade association to promote the interests of minority executives in the commercial real estate industry.

Mr. Fatheree graduated cum laude from Harvard University where he studied government and religion. He received his law degree from Loyola Law School and is a Fritz B. Burns Scholar and member of Alpha Sigma Nu. He now serves on the board of Loyola Law School, where he teaches real estate law.

Reginald A. Holmes-photo
Reginald A. Holmes

Reg Holmes is the President of The Holmes Law Firm, APC is one of America’s most experienced Mediators, Arbitrators, and Private Judges. He has served as the neutral in hundreds of major ADR matters and enjoys a national and international reputation for efficiency, fairness and effectiveness in resolving highly complex and intractable disputes and conflicts across a broad range of subject matters including Intellectual property, Technology, Social media, Employment, Entertainment, International, and Business and franchise matters. For decades, he has provided legal and business counsel, litigated, arbitrated and mediated on such topics throughout the United States and the world.

Reg, a fierce advocate for justice based Rule of Law, has declined repeated opportunities for appointment to the bench. Instead, he has focused of the delivery of just and orderly dispute and conflict resolution services.

He is a former patent attorney with an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Florida and a Law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. Over the course of his career, he has held senior positions as a product and technology developer, patent counsel, Intellectual property manager, corporate counsel, corporate executive and general manager, litigator, and Managing Partner with several Fortune 500 corporations and law firms.

A former President of the Langston Bar Association and member of the Los County Bar Association Board Trustee, Reg has been active in a number of professional, civic and community organizations. He is also a founder (along with activist Anglea Oh of the Multicultural Bar Association. His involvements in the ADR space include a terms as President of the California Dispute Resolution Council (CDRC) and a fellowship and board of director’s membership with the College of Commercial Arbitrators (CCA) As well as an ongoing board membership with the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and President and executive Director of the Neutrals Diversity Alliance (NDA), an organization formed in 2013 as an alliance of fortune 500 Companies committed to providing case loads to prominent diverse neutrals.

Reg provides neutral services independently though his eponymous law firm and in conjunction with several prominent ADR service providers including CPR, Resolution Services Inc., the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR). Holmes has a transnational practice with offices and affiliates in California, Chicago, New York and Atlanta, Toronto and Shanghai. For more on Reg Holmes, the Holmes dispute resolution philosophy and the Holmes Law Firm, APC, visit

Allen J. Webster-photo
Allen J. Webster

Judge Allen J. Webster, Jr. was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. At age two, he moved to South Central Los Angeles attending public and parochial schools. He attended Compton College and Pepperdine University receiving a B.S. Degree in Business Administration in 1963. In 1971, He received his Juris Doctorate Degree
from Southwestern University School of Law.

In 1972 he started practicing law as an associate at English Square Law Center. From 1973 to 1985 he was a partner in the firm of Hairston, Webster and Johnson. In June, 1995 he became a commissioner for the Compton Judicial District and in April 2001 was appointed a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court by Governor Gray Davis. He presides over a long cause felony trial court and is a former Assistant Supervising Judge for the South Central Judicial District.

He was President of the Langston Bar Association from 1982-1985; President of the California Association of Black Lawyers in 1986 and President of the National Bar Association from 1992-1993. He served on the Executive Committee of the Law Practice Management Section of the California State Bar as well as a Founding Committee Member of the Los Angeles County Bar’s Indigent Criminal Defense Committee and Panel. He served on the American Bar Association Task Force on Minorities and the Justice System; State Bar of California’s Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation and the Los Angeles County Solo and Small Law Firm Executive Committee. He is a Past President of Southwestern University School of Law’s Alumni Board and served as a Member of the Board of Trustees at the law school.

He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including Southwestern Alumnus of the Year Award 1994; National Bar Association Wiley Branton Award 2006, induction into the Hall of Fame for the Langston Bar Association and National Bar Association 2010 and 2012 respectively and Making a Difference through the Profession Award from the American Bar Association’s Solo, Small Firms and General Practice Division in 2013.

Judge Webster is currently active in the National Bar Association, American Bar Association, California Association of Black Lawyers, and the John M. Langston Bar Association. He is a founding member of the Association of African American California Judicial Officers, Inc. He also works very closely with the youths of the community, encouraging them to pursue their education, set and achieve their goals and strive to be leaders in a changing global society.

Tanja L Darrow-photo
Rupert A. Byrdsong

The Honorable Rupert A. Byrdsong was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court on June 18, 2014 by Governor Jerry Brown. He presently sits in Dept. 28 in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles wherein he handles an unlimited jurisdiction individual court calendar with an inventory of over 500 cases. Prior to coming to Mosk, Judge Byrdsong was the first African-American in the Complex Civil Department wherein he handled and coordinated all of the asbestos cases in Los Angeles County. Judge Byrdsong began his legal career with Ivie, McNeill, & Wyatt as a law clerk in 1994, became an associate in 1995, and became a partner in 2001.

Judge Byrdsong received his undergraduate degree in Political Science with Honors from Morehouse College in 1991. He graduated magna cum laude, made the National Dean's List and earned membership into Phi Beta Kappa. Judge Byrdsong received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1994.

Judge Byrdsong is active with the John M. Langston Bar Association (lifetime member and past president 2006), the California Association of Black Lawyers (CABL)(lifetime member), LACBA’s Labor and Employment Executive and Saturday Seminar Committees, and a Founding Member of the Association of African American California Judicial Officers (AAACJO). He served on the Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Section for the State Bar of California from 2003-2007.

Judge Byrdsong volunteers his time mentoring young lawyers and speaks to students in high schools, colleges, and law schools throughout Los Angeles. He also volunteers his time to interview prospective students for Vanderbilt School of Law. Because of his work and contributions to the community, Judge Byrdsong was recognized in Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 for 2018.

Tanja L Darrow-photo
Tanja L. Darrow

Tanja L. Darrow, an experienced trial attorney, specializes in employment litigation with a law practice that includes: Class Action, Complex litigation and single plaintiff matters on the issues of Discrimination, Harassment, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, The Americans with Disabilities Act, The Family and Medical Leave Act, Fair employment practices, and Wage and Hour issues.  She has been principally responsible for the defense of numerous class actions and single plaintiff matters and recent successes include complete defense verdicts for educational institutions, airlines and major retailers.  She was responsible for successfully resolving the landmark Iskanian case involving class action waivers, as well as securing a defense judgment following a PAGA trial for a major healthcare provider.

Tanja has significant experience providing training on diversity and discrimination issues, counseling employers on sexual and racial discrimination and harassment issues and regularly participating as a panelist in employment seminars. Tanja has been an instructor with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and frequently speaks and writes on a variety of employment law topics, including: Sexual harassment, Employment discrimination, Wrongful termination, Negligent hiring, Supervision and training, Personnel policies, Employee handbooks, Wage and Hour law, and Employment law updates.

Tanja is a shareholder with Littler Mendelson and serves on its Diversity Council and has received commendations on her pro bono and community service work from former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.  She has also been named a Top Labor and Employment Lawyer by the Daily Journal in 2017 and 2018.

Tracey Kennedy-photo
Tracey A. Kennedy

Ms. Kennedy, Partner at Sheppard Mullin, is a trial attorney responsible for all aspects of employment litigation matters on behalf of employers and management, including jury and bench trials and arbitrations. An experienced trial attorney, she has tried to verdict in state and federal court employment matters such as age, race, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, and disability discrimination, as well as harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination claims. Ms. Kennedy has also tried to verdict three wage and hour class actions.

Ms. Kennedy is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and a Member of ABOTA.

Ms. Kennedy has lectured around the country on personnel practices, employment discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and wrongful termination.

Ms. Kennedy provides preventive counseling to clients concerning personnel and employment matters.

Jason Parnell-photo
Jason R. Parnell

Jason Parnell is a Corporate Associate in the downtown Los Angeles office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Jason represents public and private companies, investors, institutional lenders, issuers, trustees, and investment funds in a wide variety of corporate and real estate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, public and private offerings, private equity and financing arrangements, venture capital, asset-backed securitizations, and land acquisitions and dispositions. Prior to joining Seyfarth, Jason litigated bankruptcy, corporate restructuring, trade secret, trademark, copyright, tax, and SEC matters for a prominent national law firm.

Jason is also a published author where he has written law review articles on a variety of legal topics, including whether CEOs, franchisors, and franchisees can be held liable for making controversial political statements that harm their company’s brand name, the ongoing impact of the Financial Crisis on the franchise dealer business model of the U.S. auto industry, and the legal hurdles to doing business in a nuclear North Korea.

Beyond his legal work and writing, Jason is an active member of a number of organizations and foundations, including the Executive Committee of the Barristers Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), the Board of Directors of the LACBA Counsel for Justice, the LACBA Business and Corporations Law Section, the Corporations Committee of the State Bar of California, the Board of Directors of Sigma Beta Xi Youth Foundation, and the Alliance for Children’s Rights. For fun, Jason plays organized basketball, travels internationally, and practices Krav Maga.

Jason received his J.D./M.B.A. from the University of Florida and his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. While in law school, Jason was a national mock trial competition finalist for the University of Florida Trial Team where he presented cases and argued legal motions on a variety of civil and contractual disputes. Jason also served as a judicial extern for three different courts where he performed research and drafted orders on a variety of federal and state issues, including commercial contract disputes, piercing the corporate veil, Ponzi schemes, and corporate fraud.

Arthel McDaniel-photo
Arthel McDaniel III

Arthel McDaniel is a Principal at Am Law 100 firm Polsinelli. He is a creative strategist and problem-solver who works closely with clients to help them navigate the complex issues inherent in commercial lending transactions, securitization, tax credit finance, and other structured finance transactions. Recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the “Most Influential Minority Attorneys in Los Angeles”, Arthel also works with clients to resolve complicated issues inherent in capital markets transactions. Whether representing lenders, national tax credit syndicators, or local nonprofit developers, Arthel uses his deep industry knowledge and negotiation skills to successfully close tax credit transactions in both up and down markets.

Arthel actively utilizes his expertise to be a pivotal force in refurbishing and revitalizing African American communities. Known for his exceptional negotiating and deal closing skills, Arthel also represents motion picture production companies, record labels, and advertising agencies with respect to talent acquisition, licensing and project finance matters. He has served as production counsel for several feature length films and has represented the principal participants in connection with various network reality television programs. Arthel is a member of American MENSA, an organization whose members score in the top 2% of the population on standardized intelligence tests. He volunteers as a mentor to students from underrepresented groups at the UCLA School of Law.

Samantha Grant-photo
Samantha C. Grant

Samantha Grant is a partner in Sheppard Mullin’s Labor and Employment Practice Group. She effectively and efficiently represents employers in administrative, arbitration, and trial proceedings in a wide variety of matters including single-plaintiff and class action discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage and hour cases, as well as breach of contract, fraud, defamation, trade secret, covenants not to compete, and unfair competition cases. Samantha’s industry, client, and substantive knowledge also make her adept at proactively advising her clients on litigation avoidance strategies, providing thoughtful advice and counseling on local, state and federal compliance matters and conducting effective management and workforce training. The insight and experience she gained while on a two-year secondment, as in-house employment counsel for a Fortune 50 company, was invaluable in her becoming a particularly pragmatic and strategic outside counsel.

Samantha serves as Vice Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law and Vice Chair of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association Advisory Board, and is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. She frequently speaks and writes on developments in the law on subject matters related to labor and employment, alternative dispute resolution, diversity and inclusion, and ethics. Among other accolades, the Daily Journal has named her to its lists of “Top Labor & Employment Lawyers in California” and “Top Women Litigators in California” and the Los Angeles Business Journal has recognized her as one of the “Most Influential Minority Lawyers.” Samantha received her Honors B.A. from the University of Toronto and her J.D. from UCLA School of Law.

Nina Shaw-photo
Nina L. Shaw

Nina Shaw is a founding partner of Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano. Her practice is in the television, motion picture, and live stage area. A native New Yorker, Nina was born and raised in Harlem and The Bronx, educated in the New York City public school system and is a graduate of Barnard College and Columbia Law School. Among her clients are successful and award winning actors, writers, producers and directors as well as entrepreneurs and entertainment executives. She began her legal career in the Entertainment Department of the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers.

Nina is a Variety Dealmaker Impact honoree and has been named repeatedly to The Hollywood Reporter’s “Women in Entertainment Power 100” list. She is a recipient of the WIF Crystal Award, and in 2013 was named Entertainment Lawyer of the Year by the Beverly Hills Bar Association. Most recently, she was honored by Essence Magazine with its 2016 Black Women in Hollywood Power Award, and also in 2016 Nina was profiled in the New York Times: “She’s the Hollywood Power Behind Those Seeking a Voice.”

Nina has a long-standing commitment to the education of children and in particular is an advocate for the education of girls and women. She is currently Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs. Additionally, Nina is among the founding organizers of Time’s Up.

Matty Jallow Baby-photo
Matty Jallow Baby

Twenty-one-year LACBA veteran staff member Matty Jallow Baby is the Administrative & Advertising Coordinator in the Marketing and Communications Department. Her primary responsibilities include support of all facets of the operations of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine, including, but not limited to circulation, audit, accounts receivables, listserve management, CLE Self-Test administration, and customer service. Matty proudly hails from the Republic of The Gambia and became a U.S. citizen in 1991. During her time at LACBA, Matty completed her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration while raising a family. "Matty is an immeasurable asset to LACBA. She is well organized and extremely efficient. Matty also has a positive attitude, helping her co-workers stay grounded during challenging times," says her supervisor.

Dianne Baquet Smith

Dianne Baquet Smith is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin's Los Angeles office. Ms. Smith represents management in litigation of wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, breach of contract, breach of public policy, ERISA, and other types of employment cases, through trial. She chairs Sheppard Mullin’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and is a member of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Council. Ms. Smith is currently a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Diversity in the Profession Committee and its Labor & Employment Law and Litigation Sections.

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Craig S. Barnes

Craig Barnes is a partner at Clyde & Co where he focuses his practice in the areas of catastrophic loss, complex business litigation, product liability and general tort litigation. An active trial attorney, Mr. Barnes has tried several high profile matters to verdict on behalf of public and private entities. Mr. Barnes is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, serving for many years on the Diversity in the Profession Committee and the Judicial Evaluations Committee. He also recently served as a coach for a local high school mock trial team entered in the Constitutional Rights Foundation Los Angeles County Mock Trial Competition. Mr. Barnes is a member of the National Bar Association, the California Association of Black Lawyers and the Langston Bar Association as well as the American Board of Trial Advocates and the American Bar Association.

Duane Beasley photo
Duane Beasley

Duane Beasley is a Partner in Orrick’s Structured Finance Group. Duane’s practice focuses on securitizations, warehouse financings and various other types of debt finance transactions for banks, non-bank lenders, fintech companies and private equity funds. He serves as the chairperson for the Los Angeles Office’s Diversity Committee and is a member of the Los Angeles Office’s Employment Committee. He also serves on the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Diversity in the Profession Committee. At UCLA Law, he served as Community Service Coordinator for the Black Law Students Association and was a Law Fellows Mentor.

Tambry Lynette Bradford photo
Tambry Lynette Bradford

Tambry Lynette Bradford is a partner in the Commercial Litigation Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Los Angeles and Orange County offices. Ms. Bradford's practice encompasses a wide range of complex commercial litigation matters involving claims of fraud, unfair competition, due process violations, contract disputes and products liability. Ms. Bradford is a former member of the California Minority Counsel Program Ambassadors Council, a 2016 Fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, and a volunteer for the Los Angeles County Bar Association Domestic Violence Project.

Kimberly Buffington

Kimberly Buffington, a Pillsbury partner and noted class action, trial and appellate lawyer, has a proven track record of securing multimillion-dollar awards for her clients. Skilled in trials, appeals and arbitrations, Kim has been successfully litigating consumer class actions and complex intellectual property, insurance coverage and commercial cases for 20+ years. Co-leader of Pillsbury’s Internet and Social Media team, Kim regularly represents technology companies, startups and other businesses in social media and copyright-related matters. She asserts and defends trademark, privacy rights and licensing disputes for recording artists, radio stations, and entertainment companies, and has recovered $50+ million for insurance policyholders. In 2017, she became the managing partner of Pillsbury’s 85-lawyer Los Angeles office. This year, she was named among the "Most Influential Minority Attorneys in Los Angeles” by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Kim is currently a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Litigation Section.

Carmen J. Cole photo
Carmen J. Cole

Carmen Cole is a Principal in the Los Angeles office of Am Law 100 firm, Polsinelli LLP. Carmen practices in the firm’s Labor & Employment Department, which was ranked in Tier 1 by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Law Firms” for 2018. Carmen’s creativity, enthusiasm, and prior experience as a Human Resources professional make her a valued resource in resolving clients' industry-specific, one-of-a-kind employment law disputes. Carmen not only understands clients' legal issues, but she also understands clients' businesses. Her knowledge of the ins and outs of a client's business is the foundation for the sound advice and legal strategies she provides to clients. Carmen currently is on the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Amicus Briefs and Diversity in the Profession Committee. She also serves on the President’s Advisory Committee on Women in the Legal Profession and is a Labor & Employment Section member.

Gary A. Farwell

While sustaining a practice focusing on juvenile delinquency and more recently, probate litigation, Attorney Farwell has always found time to volunteer his services. He helped found and create the Sunday Free Legal Clinic at First A.M.E. Church, Los Angeles. He assisted in the start-up of what is now known as The Mesereau Free Legal Clinic. He volunteers on a monthly basis at the Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law. He also has helped injured parties monthly for the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Domestic Violence Legal Services Project since 2000. "A longtime volunteer of the DVP, Gary has given several hundred hours of his time to assisting victims of domestic violence. He is regarded for his ability to communicate effectively with victims of domestic violence and has earned an excellent reputation among the DVP personnel due to his dedication to our mission," says Sara Rondon, Director of the Domestic Violence Legal Services Project.

Christine Chambers Goodman

Christine Goodman joined the Pepperdine faculty in 2001, and teaches Comparative Anti-Discrimination Law, Evidence, and Trial Practice. She has participated in the Global Justice Program in Uganda and India, and taught in the London Program. Professor Goodman also has taught courses in Community Outreach/Youth Mentoring, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, and Trial Preparation and Settlement. She serves as an advisor to the Black Law Students' Association and the Women's Legal Association, and has been a mock trial team coach. Professor Goodman served as the 2016-2017 President of California Women Lawyers, and on the Executive Committees of the AALS Evidence and Litigation sections. She is also on the board of Schools on Wheels, a local nonprofit that provides tutors and school supplies for homeless youths. She has served as an officer of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, on the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and was chair of its Diversity in the Profession Committee.

Shanice Hawthorne

Shanice Hawthorne, Program Coordinator for the Los Angeles County Bar Association Independent Juvenile Defender Program, is a HBCU (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) graduate with a degree in Criminal Justice. She is committed to building a career focused on service and social justice. In joining the LACBA IJDP program, she was enthused by the opportunity to participate in the wave of reform present currently in the field of Juvenile advocacy. In her LACBA IJDP Program Coordinator position, Ms. Hawthorne provides wide ranging administrative roles. These roles include managing case distribution for IJDP attorneys, expert referrals, expert appointment distribution, contract investigators and social workers, and PACE (Professional Appointee Court Expenditure). Additionally, Ms. Hawthorne administers the collection and management of quality of representation data for attorneys practicing on the LACBA IJDP East Panel, which includes the central juvenile delinquency courthouse for Los Angeles County, and serves as the court liaison between LACBA IJDP and the Eastlake and Pomona Juvenile Courts.

Karen A. Henry-photo
Karen A. Henry

Karen, counsel in the Los Angeles office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, is an experienced litigator, with a diverse practice focusing primarily on First Amendment and employment litigation. In her employment practice, Karen skillfully defends corporate employers across industries against a wide variety of claims brought by current or former employees, including claims for discrimination, retaliation, and harassment. In her First Amendment practice, Karen passionately defends the First Amendment freedoms of creators and distributors of a wide variety of entertainment content from claims alleging copyright-infringement, right-of-publicity violations, theft of ideas, defamation, Lanham Act violations, or other claims arising from the content of creative works. In all aspects of her practice, Karen’s approach is centered around learning her clients’ goals and tailoring her representation to help her clients meet those goals. Karen also believes fervently in giving back and has volunteered countless hours with the Los Angeles County Bar Association's AIDS Legal Services Project. She was the recipient of LACBA’s 2015 Benjamin Aranda III Outstanding Public Service Award.

Cheryl M. Lott

Buchalter Shareholder Cheryl M. Lott represents corporate clients, banks, mortgage companies and other financial institutions in both state and federal court. Her practice focuses on general business and commercial litigation, as well as construction defect litigation, toxic tort defense, class action defense, special assets related litigation, and labor and employment litigation. She has significant experience in preparing all aspects of a case for trial or arbitration. Ms. Lott also has extensive experience working on local, state, and federal regulatory matters and government procurement matters. She is currently a Los Angeles County Bar Association Litigation Section member and serves on its Executive Committee. Ms. Lott was recently recognized as a “Most Influential Minority Attorney” by the Los Angeles Business Journal. She is also currently serving as the President Elect of the Alumni Association of UCLA.

Angela J. Reddock-Wright
Angela J. Reddock-Wright

Named a "Top California Employment Lawyer" by the Daily Journal, and one of Los Angeles' "Most Influential Minority Attorneys" and "Most Influential Women Lawyers" by the Los Angeles Business Journal, Angela Reddock-Wright is the Founding and Managing Partner of the Reddock Law Group, a boutique employment and labor law mediation, arbitration and investigation firm based in Los Angeles. Angela is currently on the Los Angeles County Bar Association Board of Trustees and is a Labor and Employment section member.

Alfred E. Smith, II-photo
Alfred E. Smith, II

Alfred Smith, Chair of Nossaman's Water Practice Group, is a recognized expert in water and environmental law. A graduate of the Harvard Law School, he has successfully litigated multiple water right adjudications, and he has secured more than $750 million worth of contamination settlements in favor of his clients. Mr. Smith has successfully litigated at all levels. His accomplishments include helping negotiate one of California's largest water contamination mitigation settlements in favor of his clients and winning a unanimous decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. Alfred is currently an Environmental Law and Litigation Section member at the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He was also featured on the cover of the February 2015 issue of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine.

Kendra Thomas photo
Wilma J. Pinder

Former Assistant City Attorney Wilma J. Pinder has always been active in the legal community. Wilma retired from the City Attorney’s Office after 30 years of service in 2008. She was known as a tough litigator, yet being diplomatic to her clients and opposing counsel. Wilma credits her diverse background as a key to her success in the courtroom. She has degrees in both sociology and psychology. Wilma graduated from UCLA Law School, and attended undergraduate school at Howard University where she received a Master’s of Science. She also has a Bachelor’s degree from USC, where she met her husband. In retirement Mrs. Pinder considers herself a cheerleader for the legal profession, often mentoring and encouraging young attorneys. She is still very active with local bar associations. She is a member of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, the Langston Bar Association, California Association of Black Lawyers and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. She believes LACBA is a great place to keep in touch with peers and stay abreast of current legal matters. Wilma takes advantage of the many legal trainings at associations, and one of her future goals is to be a mediator. Wilma is also known as a world traveler and still loves to travel in her free time.

Kendra Thomas photo
Kendra Thomas

Attorney Kendra Thomas is a Certified Family Law Specialist serving clients in the Southern California area at Thomas Law Offices, in Woodland Hills and in Newport Beach, CA. Thomas Law Offices is a values-driven law firm, guided by principles of excellence, leadership, and citizenship. Kendra currently serves on the Los Angeles County Bar Association Board of Trustees as well as being an Outstanding Jurist Committee and Family Law Section member.

Kendra Thomas photo
Karin E. White

Karin E. White is parlaying her twenty-two years as a police officer and her investigative experience with the Superior Court Panel of Investigators into her new role as Lead Investigator for the IJD Program. She has served as an expert for the Federal Public Defender’s Office and worked with the ICDA for fourteen years. She has extensive knowledge of the justice system as well as the landscape of investigation in Los Angeles County. In her capacity as Lead Investigator, Ms. White worked closely with Hon. Terry Bork to create a juvenile-specific panel of investigators to account for referrals beyond the capacity of the IJDP office. Actively recruiting the most qualified service providers, Ms. White provides oversight and administration of the investigator panel and is responsible for the management and distribution of cases. Additionally, Ms. White serves the IJDP panel directly, providing investigative services on transfer cases and cases involving the most serious offenses. Her hard work and dedication has repeatedly aided in major sentence reductions and dismissals for our clients and she has proven to be an incredible asset to the IJDP’s attorneys and the juveniles they represent.

Samuel L. Williams

Mr. Williams was the first African-American to serve as president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (1977) and the State Bar of California (1981). He was named one of LACBA's Trailblazers of the Bar (2011) and received its highest honor—The Shattuck-Price Outstanding Lawyer Award (1988)—for his extraordinary contribution to improving the administration of justice in Los Angeles County. Mr. Williams also served as president of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners and National Conference of Bar Presidents.

Phyllis Hauser, Demi Clark and Shirleen Yorke (L-R)
Phyllis Hauser, Demi Clark and Shirleen Yorke (L-R)

LACBA’s Member Services Department is led by Department Director and 21 year veteran, Phyllis Hauser. Phyllis worked in LACBA’s Information Technology Department for the first 15 years of her tenure, and joined the Member Services Department 6 years ago. LACBA’s current Reception/Customer Care team consists of 15 year LACBA veteran, Shirleen Yorke, and Demi Clark, who is a relatively new addition. Shirleen and Demi manage the switchboard and welcome all members and visitors who come to LACBA’s offices. The Member Services Department handles all of LACBA’s incoming calls and assists callers in joining or renewing their LACBA membership, registering for an event, and many other customer service related tasks.