LACBA Hispanic Heritage Month Honorees

LACBA  Recognizes Past and Present Bar Leaders in Honor of Hispanic Heritage Month


2021 Honorees:



Maggie Castillo

Maggie Castillo


Maggie Castillo is an immigration attorney for her firm, Castillo Law Firm. With more than 20 years of experience, she is a zealous immigration law practitioner who is passionate about protecting her clients. Maggie has represented individuals in removal proceedings throughout the United States and has helped to lead and inform bar associations across California and the nation. A longtime LACBA member, Maggie currently chairs the Immigration and Nationality Law Section, which she has helped to lead and guide for over a decade. She is also a chair of the Southern California Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Maggie earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and her undergraduate degree from Chapman University.


E. Carlos Dominguez

E Carlos Dominguez

E. Carlos Dominguez was appointed a Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Prior, he served as Deputy Attorney General at the California Department of Justice, briefing and arguing cases in the California Supreme Court, California Court of Appeal, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. He worked in private practice from 2005-2009 and earned an undergraduate degree from UCLA and a Juris Doctor from the USC School of Law, where he returned as a Lecturer in Law in 2021. In addition to being a LACBA trustee, Carlos has served on the association’s Criminal Justice and Diversity in the Profession sections plus the 2020-2021 Racial and Social Justice Task Force. His wide range of community service includes being California Change Lawyers board member and working pro bono for domestic violence victims. His dedication has been honored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the California Attorney General, and the State Bar of California.



Marisa Hernandez-Stern

Marisa Hernández-Stern


Marisa is a Supervising Deputy Attorney General in the California Department of Justice Worker Rights & Fair Labor Section. After working at the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Voting Section, Marisa clerked for the late Hon. Judge Harry Pregerson, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She previously worked at two private public interest law firms and Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County. She is a graduate of Brown University and UCLA School of Law. Marisa served as the 2020 president of the Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles County and is the longtime chair, and current co-chair, of the Judicial Externship & Scholarship Program. She is a member of LACBA’s Litigation Section Executive Committee and a Federal Bar Association-Los Angeles board member. Marisa recently completed her term as trustee on the Brown University Alumni Association Board of Governors. She was recognized as a 2021 “Top Lawyer Under 40” and Super Lawyers Rising Star by the Hispanic National Bar Association and is a recipient of UCLA’s Academic Senate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award, which recognizes contributions to further a diverse, impartial, and inclusive academic environment at UCLA.



Catherine Valerio Barrad

Valerio Barrad portrait


Catherine Valerio Barrad joined the Office of General Counsel at California State University, Fullerton, in January 2016. Part of University Counsel in the Office of the Chancellor, she serves as on the External Affairs team and as a resource attorney for privacy, information security, and NCAA athletics compliance. Her legal career encompasses similar roles at San Diego State University, California State University, Bakersfield, and California State University, Dominguez Hills. A LACBA member for most of her professional career, Catherine was chair of the association’s Judicial Appointments committee from 2017-2019. She has also been a partner in the Litigation, Mass Torts, and Supreme Court & Appellate, and Privacy, Data Security and Information Law groups of Sidley Austin LLP, where she practiced for over 20 years. She graduated magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from J.D. Northwestern University Law School and earn an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management and a BA from UC San Diego.



2020 Honorees:


Sonia Dujan


Sonia Dujan has been practicing family law since being admitted to the California Bar in 1999. She began her legal career working at Levitt & Quinn Family Center working mostly with monolingual Spanish speakers and people of modest means who needed help navigating the family law system. She is fluent in Spanish, both verbal and written and Ms. Dujan’s experiences as an immigrant and her fluency in Spanish allow her to represent and connect with people who may otherwise be disenfranchised from the legal system.

Ms. Dujan began representing children in family law and probate guardianships in 2002 and she opened her own firm in 2004. Ms. Dujan is also a trained family law mediator. The representation of children in high-conflict cases consists of the majority of Ms. Dujan’s private practice. She has always been devoted to the welfare of children, having volunteered and worked with children’s groups since 1989.

Ms. Dujan is a member of Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Family Law Section Executive Committee and Chair of the Minor’s Counsel Subcommittee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Family Law Executive Committee. Since 2014 she has been Co-chair of Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Minor’s Counsel Training Program. 


Silvia Martinez

Silvia Martinez is the Immigration Project Director for LACBA’s
Immigration Legal Assistance Project. She has been practicing immigration law for twenty years. 

As an immigrant herself, Ms. Martinez chose immigration law as a path to make the most difference in her community. Ms. Martinez began her legal career as a staff attorney with San Pedro Community Legal Services working exclusively with victims of domestic violence. She opened her own firm in 2008 and continued to practice exclusively in immigration law.

Ms. Martinez is a member of LACBA's Immigration Law Section Executive Committee and in 2009 she was the recipient of the Honorable Benjamin Aranda III Outstanding Public Service Award for her community service with LACBA's Immigration Project.  

Nicholas Mireles


Nicholas Mireles has been practicing immigration law in Southern California since 2013. Before starting his own practice in 2017, Nicholas worked for small and boutique law firms where he developed the skills necessary to go out on his own.

The Law Office of Nicholas J. Mireles, APC is a solo law practice that specializes in Immigration and Nationality Law. Located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, "LOONJM" was founded by Attorney Nicholas J. Mireles who uses his vast knowledge of the US immigration system to help his clients in this ever changing legal environment. As a solo attorney, the goal is to provide high quality, affordable legal representation, where the client always comes first.

Nicholas received his B.A. from UCLA and J.D. from Loyola Law School. He is a Trustee and active member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) as well as a board member of the Southern California Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

Roy Jimenez


Roy Jimenez, a partner at TLD Law since 2006, has over 23 years of experience in business and real estate litigation. He is rated “AV Preeminent” by his peers through Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating that can be achieved, and is only obtained by 10% of attorneys.

He devotes his career and life to helping people in many facets. Professionally, Mr. Jimenez has extensive experience in resolving or litigating large, small and complex cases involving collections, breach of contract, unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets and other business torts. He is successful in economically and favorably settling real estate disputes affecting title, transfer, and use of real property, and in lending issues. In this capacity he works with agents, buyers, sellers, lenders and escrow officers.

In his personal time, he volunteers many hours assisting others through a variety of organizations. A native of Southern California, Mr. Jimenez is a member of the State Bar of California, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Mexican American Bar Association, LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles, Long Beach Bar Association, and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. 


Previous Honorees:


Hon. Carlos R. Moreno (Ret.)-photo
Hon. Carlos R. Moreno (Ret.)

Hon. Carlos R. Moreno (Ret.) has had a distinguished 25-year career on the judiciary, including ten years on the California Supreme Court. During his tenure, Justice Moreno authored over 140 majority opinions on a wide range of precedent setting cases, including significant opinions implicating LGBT rights, arbitration, and insurance policy coverage. Previously, he served fifteen years as a trial judge in state and federal courts presiding over hundreds of trials covering the full spectrum of criminal and civil litigation. Most recently, Justice Moreno served as United States Ambassador to Belize where he made great strides in advancing citizen security within Belize and the region, focusing on citizen protection, economic development, and governance.

Justice Moreno is a first-generation Mexican-American and fluent Spanish speaker. He was the third Latino to serve on the Supreme Court of California. Justice Moreno has been honored with numerous accolades for his work on and off the Bench, recognizing his commitment to equality and justice, his pioneering accomplishments as a Mexican-American, and his work in child advocacy. He has served on numerous community-based organization boards. He is currently a neutral with JAMS.

Arturo Martinez-photo
Arturo Martinez

Arturo Martinez has a lengthy and distinguished history of service to his city and his community at large. Throughout his legal career, he has devoted his life and career to giving back through public service by working for state, county and city governments, seeking justice, prosecuting violators of the law and protecting the interests of those whose community he represents.

Mr. Martinez is a native of Los Angeles, born to Cuban immigrant parents. He is a graduate of Loyola High School, with an undergraduate degree from UCLA, a Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law and is admitted to practice law in California and before the United State District Court, Central District. Mr. Martinez is a Senior Assistant City Attorney for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and currently serves as the Deputy Chief of the Safe Neighborhoods and Gang Division.

In 1998, Mr. Martinez joined the City Attorney’s Office Criminal Branch as a trial deputy in the Central Trials Operations. From 2002 to 2008, he served as the first Neighborhood Prosecutor for Rampart Division. In 2007 he was also assigned to the Anti-Gang Section where he handled a variety of gang, gun and graffiti cases. In 2012, he was promoted to Assistant Supervisor of the Anti-Gang Section, eventually becoming the Supervisor in 2014. During his tenure in the Anti-Gang Section, Mr. Martinez co-developed the Gang Injunction Removal Petition Program and the Gang Alternative Sentencing Program. In 2018, he became the Deputy Chief of the Safe Neighborhoods and Gang Division. The Safe Neighborhoods and Gang Division is comprised by the Citywide Nuisance Abatement Program, Neighborhood Prosecutor Program, Gang and Gun Prosecution Section, Gun Violence Prevention Program, Anti-Sex and Labor Trafficking Section, Anti-Counterfeit Enforcement Program, and Marijuana Enforcement Unit. Prior to joining the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, Mr. Martinez served as a Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice and also worked in the Children Services Division of the County Counsel’s Office handling child abuse and neglect cases.

Mr. Martinez is a dedicated volunteer and board member of several local community and non-profit organizations. Among his many involvements, he currently serves as president of the Loyola High School Alumni Association, a member of the Loyola High School Board of Directors, and a member of the Latino Alumni Society of Loyola High School. He is also a member and past president of the Latino City Attorneys Association and a past president of the Latin American Law Students Association at Pepperdine University School of Law.

Lorrina M. Duffy-photo
Lorrina M. Duffy

Lorrina M. Duffy is an associate at QDRO Benefits Law Group, a law firm that focuses exclusively on the division of retirement benefits at divorce. Ms. Duffy’s work involves determining the community or marital interest in retirement benefits earned through employment and in drafting appropriate orders for the division and disposition of those interests. Ms. Duffy also volunteers as a QDRO attorney for the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, a non-profit organization which provides free legal services for low income families in turmoil, and she was formerly on the Board of Directors.

Ms. Duffy is on the Board and Treasurer for the Latina Lawyers Bar Association, which provides scholarships for law students and recent law graduates studying for the bar exam.

Ms. Duffy is also Executive Vice President of Legal Services for QDROCounsel, a legal services company which provides web-based technology and legal services support on a subscription basis for family law attorneys and their staff to handle the valuation and division of retirement benefits.

Prior to QDRO Benefits Law Group, Ms. Duffy was a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles where she practiced family and consumer law. She represented survivors of domestic violence seeking protection from their abusers and custody/visitation orders. She also assisted low-income homeowners with issues of foreclosure rescue scams, financial elder abuse, fraud, forged deeds and other title issues.

Ms. Duffy received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz where she double-majored in American Studies and Latin American/Latino Studies. She obtained her Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Ms. Duffy is fluent in Spanish.

Krystal Rodriguez-Campos-photo
Krystal Rodriguez-Campos

Krystal Rodriguez-Campos is a managing attorney at the Law Office of Steven R. Espinoza, an immigration law firm. Her passion for immigration law stems from her experiences as the daughter of a Cuban refugee mother and Mexican immigrant father. She has been a member of the State Bar of California since December 2010.

Ms. Rodriguez-Campos graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2006 with Bachelor of Arts Degrees in English and Spanish. She then attended the University of La Verne, College of Law, receiving her Juris Doctor in May 2010.

During law school, she participated in a study abroad program through Santa Clara University of Law, studying Refugee and Asylum law in San Jose, Costa Rica. She was actively involved in the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and the Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF). Ms. Rodriguez-Campos also clerked as a law student at the Children Rights’ Project at Public Counsel, serving at the Pro Per Guardianship Clinic and assisting in Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) cases. In her final year of law school, she worked as a student legal representative at the Justice and Immigration Clinic, successfully representing a Central American man in a defensive asylum case.

Prior to beginning law school, Ms. Rodriguez-Campos volunteered at Public Counsel, Peace over Violence, and the Western Center on Law and Poverty, working with low-income individuals in need of legal services.

Ms. Rodriguez-Campos is active in her community, having participated in various local “charlas” and Know Your Rights presentations, as well as appearing on Univision. She is a member of the Los Angeles Bar Association (LACBA) and a UCLA alumni mentor. She credits her academic and legal success to her parents who instilled in her the spirit of hard work and the desire to help others. She deeply believes that the value of immigrants’ contributions to the shaping of our country has been immeasurable and that the greatness of our country lies in its immigrant population.

Veronica Cruz-photo
Veronica Cruz

Veronica Cruz earned her law degree in 2017 from Pepperdine University School of Law. While at Pepperdine, Ms. Cruz served as Vice Chair for the Mexican American Bar Association. She also participated in the Education Law Clinic and Veteran’s Treatment Court Practicum. Ms. Cruz graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2011, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and a Minor in Chicano and Chicana Studies.

Throughout her career, Ms. Cruz has been dedicated to helping others. Before attending Pepperdine, Ms. Cruz was a legal fellow for JusticeCorps of America where she helped low income individuals with family law matters. She then worked at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, one of the largest and most prominent public interest law offices in California, where she assisted underprivileged individuals facing eviction.

While attending law school, Ms. Cruz continued in her pursuit of helping others by interning at the Ventura County Public Defender’s Office, giving a voice to the voiceless who could not otherwise afford an attorney. During her time at the Public Defender’s Office, Ms. Cruz helped establish the Veteran’s Treatment Court Practicum to assist veterans who were faced with legal difficulties. She then proceeded to work for one the leading civil rights law firms devoted to helping victims of police abuse.

After obtaining her law degree, Ms. Cruz joined Kazerouni Law Group, APC in 2017 as an Associate Attorney where she continues to pursue her passion for helping others. Fighting for consumers facing unfair debt collection practices, illegal credit reporting, and various other consumer rights violations committed by large companies is in line with her passions and beliefs.

Karla R. Bustamante-photo
Karla R. Bustamante

Karla R. Bustamante was raised in a loving family where her parents instilled the values of hard work, loyalty, dedication and perseverance. She is the first in her family to pursue higher education by graduating high school, college and law school. Growing up she always knew she wanted to be an attorney and her parents infused the discipline required to go from being an ESL (English as a Second Language) student to an honor roll and AP student.

After high school graduation Ms. Bustamante attended the University of California at Riverside where she earned a double Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Spanish Linguistics/Literature.  While completing her undergraduate studies Ms. Bustamante was involved with campus activities, working and volunteering at the Cesar Chavez Student Center, Families First Project, International Student Services and the ALS Association; she also worked as an intern for the Riverside District Attorney's Office Victim/Witness Unit and studied abroad in Spain. She attended Whittier College, School of Law where she earned her JD while working full time. 

As an immigrant herself, Ms. Bustamante has a deep rooted passion for helping the immigrant community. She is an associate at Valencia & Associates, APC  in Santa Ana, California practicing immigration law exclusively. Her focus is on deportation defense and family-based immigration ranging from, parole in place for military families, adjustments of status to consular process and VAWA (violence Against Women Act), U visas for victims of crime and naturalization. Her pro bono work includes naturalization fairs, DACA workshops, immigration information workshops, mentoring law students and know your rights clinics. Ms. Bustamante is a member of the Los Angeles Bar Association, specifically immigration section where she proudly works alongside fellow immigration attorneys who zealously represent the immigrant community.

Ms. Bustamante serves on the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County which focuses on scholarship fundraising to support future generations of Latino lawyers. She is also a member of the Orange County Bar Association, Orange County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and Orange County Hispanic Bar Association. She is licensed to practice before all courts in the State of California as well as the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Roy Jimenez-photo
Roy Jimenez

Roy Jimenez, the Managing Partner of Tredway, Lumsdaine & Doyle, LLP (“TLD”), has been practicing since 1997 and has been rated “A-V Preeminent” by his peers, the highest rating issued by Lexis Nexis|Martindale-Hubbell. He devotes his career and life to helping people in many facets. Professionally, Mr. Jimenez has extensive experience in resolving or litigating large, small and complex cases involving collections, breach of contract, unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets and other business torts. He is successful in economically and favorably resolving real estate disputes affecting title, transfer and use of real property as well as lending issues. Mr. Jimenez also consults and provides general counsel services to financial institutions, entertainment companies and national packaging and packaging related businesses. His clients consist of businesses in the following categories: financial institutions, manufacturing, distribution, packaging, retail, consumer services and real estate, including agents, buyers, sellers, lenders and escrow officers. Mr. Jimenez enjoys the competitive and fast-paced nature of civil litigation. He strives to reach successful results, in the most cost-efficient manner, for each client. Being at TLD for over 20 years, Mr. Jimenez has the tools to get these results for his clients.

In his personal time, he volunteers many hours assisting others through a variety of organizations. A native of Southern California, Mr. Jimenez is a member of the State Bar of California, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Mexican American Bar Association, LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles, Long Beach Bar Association and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. He has acted in leadership roles in these various organizations and others. Through these organizations he mentors students and encourages diversity in the legal profession. He is a member of the Diversity in the Profession Committee of LACBA and is on the Trial Practice Area Committee of the National Association of Minority and Woman Owned Law Firms. He is the President and founded the LGBTQ Attorneys & Allies Section of the Long Beach Bar Association and was the first Latino Co-President of the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles. Mr. Jimenez is most proud of his 20 years of service, being a member of the Kiwanis Club, whose mission is to improve the lives of children.

Sabrina Rivera-photo
Sabrina Rivera

Sabrina Rivera is a Staff Attorney at Western State College of Law’s Immigration Clinic where she supervises law students on pro bono cases and advocacy projects involving immigration and criminal issues. She directly represents clients in a range of matters, including deportation defense for detained immigrants, humanitarian visas for survivors of violence and trafficking, citizenship, and asylum. Ms. Rivera also supervises and mentors law students enrolled in the Immigration Clinic on community advocacy initiatives, including the monthly Legal Orientation Program at Musick Jail Facility in Irvine, which educates pro se detained immigrants about their rights and the immigration court process so they can make informed decisions about their legal cases. She also provides weekly pro bono consultations to detained immigrants at Theo Lacy Facility in Orange who are unable to afford private counsel and connect them to legal resources.

Since 2015, Ms. Rivera has served as adjunct faculty at Western State College of Law, where she has taught a lawyering skills course. She is a current board member of the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association. She is the former chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Immigration Section and a Law Student Section liaison for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Southern California Chapter. She is a graduate of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, where she received the Dean’s Service Award and interned at Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. Ms. Rivera is a graduate of Cal State University, Dominguez Hills, where she graduated cum laude, and interned with U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s office.

Diane Reyes-photo
Diane Reyes

When Ms. Reyes decided to practice law, she focused on the areas of the law where she felt she could help people the most. Her current practice at the Law Offices of Diane Reyes is located in Burbank, California and has been open since 2004. In her solo practice she focuses on juvenile dependency, adoptions, along with probate legal guardianships.

Diane Reyes has been a practicing attorney since 1996. She graduated from Pitzer College in Claremont, California with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Psychology. Then she went on to Loyola Law School of Los Angeles to earn her Juris Doctorate.

Ms. Reyes began her legal career as a sole practitioner doing probate law. In 1996 she joined what is now Children's Law Center of Los Angeles, which represents the majority of abused and neglected children in Los Angeles County Dependency System. In 2004, she left CLCLA to form her own practice. In 2007 she was appointed as a Juvenile Court Referee by the Presiding Judge of Juvenile Court. She has presided over both juvenile delinquency and dependency cases, both of which center around at-risk youth. She has sat in every delinquency and dependency court in Los Angeles County.

A native of Southern California, she has been married for over 25 years and has two lovely daughters, both of which are in college studying for their bachelor of science degrees. She has volunteered as scorer/judge for Constitutional Rights Foundation Mock Trial Program for the past 11 years and was a Girl Scout Leader and volunteer for 12 years. She is a current member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Diversity in the Profession Committee, Latina Lawyers Bar Association, Loyola Law School Latino Alumni Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association and Burbank Business and Professional Women Club. She enjoys speaking to teenagers and encouraging them to reach for their educational goals. Furthermore she hopes to see more representation of women and minorities in professional fields.

Camilo Echavarria-photo
Camilo Echavarria

Camilo Echavarria is committed to ardently defending his clients, promoting diversity within his profession, and advancing his community. After graduating from NYU Law in 1997, Camilo worked as an Associate for Morrison & Foerster and Litigation Counsel for NBC Universal. He joined Davis Wright Tremaine (DWT) in 2006 and was elevated to Partner in 2010. Camilo defends employers in single and multi-plaintiff employment litigation and class action cases. His clients include a number of Fortune 500 companies who trust him to manage a high volume of employment matters, and he has been recognized as one of the “Most Influential Minority Attorneys in Los Angeles” by the Los Angeles Business Journal and as one of “California’s 75 Top Labor and Employment Lawyers” by the Daily Journal. A leader in both his profession and his community, Camilo is on the Board of Trustees for the Mexican American Bar Foundation (MABF), the Board of Directors for the California Minority Counsel Program (CMCP), previously served as a Regional President for the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), and is on the Board of Directors for Latino Kids Health (LK Health), a nonprofit medical clinic in Los Angeles County serving Latinos and underserved communities. Within DWT, he is committed to the advancement of diverse attorneys, currently serving as the Chair of DWT’s Diverse Executive Council and previously serving as the Professional Development Partner for the Employment Services Group. Camilo regularly mentors 3-4 attorneys of color in the firm at any given time, helping to create a culture of inclusion in the firm at an individual level.

Joanna Sanchez-photo
Joanna Sanchez

Joanna Sanchez was born into a truly bi-cultural home. Her father immigrated to the United States from Honduras after meeting and marrying her mother, who is a third generation Italian-American. Her parents settled in Los Angeles, her mother's hometown, after living in Honduras and Taiwan.

She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Irvine with a double major in Sociology and Social Ecology. After college, she worked as a case-manager for pregnant and parenting teens. In 2007, she graduated cum laude from the Southwestern University School of Law, where she was a Wildman/Schumacher Scholarship recipient. During law school, she was active in the Latino Law Students Association, volunteered for the annual Christmas Toy Drive and served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Dean D. Pregerson of the District Court for the Central District of California.

Ms. Sanchez is the first attorney in her family. Combining her desire to impact individuals through the legal system and familiarity with social work, Ms. Sanchez has dedicated her legal career to family law. As a family law attorney, she finds it is imperative to educate and empower her clients to understand their options so they can make informed decisions. In addition, she provides pro bono services as a Spanish-English bilingual mediator for the Los Angeles Superior Court and volunteer attorney for the Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law. Ms. Sanchez is on the San Fernando Valley Bar Association's board of trustees, Family Law Executive Committee, and has been serving as the Co-Chair of the Inclusion and Diversity Committee for the last 3 years. In her various capacities with the SFVBA, Ms. Sanchez has helped organize family law settlement programs, has organized panels and court tours for college students, and put on a program to encourage diverse applicants to seek judicial appointments. She is proud that the SFVBA was awarded the Diversity Award by the California State Bar in 2016 for its demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and looks forward to continuing that legacy.

Angela M. Machala-photo
Angela M. Machala

Angela M. Machala is a partner at Scheper Kim & Harris focusing on the representation of companies and corporate executives in regulatory and white collar criminal investigations, as well as state and federal litigation. Ms. Machala’s mother immigrated to the United States from Panama as a child; for many years, Ms. Machala’s grandmother toiled as a seamstress in the Los Angeles garment industry.

In the civil arena, Ms. Machala recently helped secure favorable settlements for a work-site based youth program accused of negligence in hiring. She also obtained a favorable settlement on the eve of trial for a business owner and several corporate entities in a federal court case alleging Lanham Act and civil RICO claims, as well as breach of fiduciary duty, usurpation of corporate opportunity, and fraud claims. In Ms. Machala’s white collar practice, she has represented entities and individuals in federal and state investigations into alleged healthcare fraud, insider trading, and FIRREA violations. Ms. Machala also has extensive experience in conducting privileged internal investigations.

Ms. Machala attended UCLA for her undergraduate work and Yale Law School. She served as a law clerk to both the Honorable Nora M. Manella in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and for the Honorable Pamela Ann Rymer in the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. Ms. Machala is active in the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and currently serves as Chair of the Litigation Section Executive Committee and Vice-Chair of the Judicial Appointments Committee. She is also a member of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association (WWCDA), and was a member of the Latino Law Students Association at Yale.

Melissa Wong-photo
Melissa Wong

Melissa Wong has worked as an immigration attorney for over four years. She is fluent in Spanish. As the daughter of immigrant parents, Ms. Wong understands the difficulties many immigrants face. Her personal experience offers a unique understanding and empathy for the clients she serves.

Ms. Wong graduated from U.C. Irvine with a B.A. in International studies. She then earned her J.D. from Whittier Law School where she served as President of the Hispanic American Law Students Association.

She has focused her career on representing immigrants in complex humanitarian immigration issues, deportation defense, and family-based immigration cases including conditional green card waivers, VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) green card cases, inadmissibility waivers for unlawful presence, misrepresentation, prostitution, and crimes. She also regularly handles NIV waivers and U visas for victims of violent crime.

Ms. Wong is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the L.A. County Bar Association (LACBA). Committed to public interest, Ms. Wong volunteers her time at the LACBA Domestic Violence Project helping immigrant survivors of abuse obtain in pro per restraining orders in family court. She also regularly volunteers her time at community based pro-bono clinics and is a vocal advocate in city town hall meetings for positive immigration measures.

Erika R. Aspericueta-photo
Erika R. Aspericueta

Erika R. Aspericueta focuses her practice on commercial litigation, especially matters related to products liability, personal injury, wrongful death, insurance defense, and complex tort. Erika has extensive experience in all phases of litigation including discovery, taking and defending hundreds of percipient and expert depositions, law and motion, mediation, settlement negotiations, oral argument and trial preparation. She has obtained numerous successful outcomes for her clients in the form of dismissals and motions for summary judgment in the early phases of litigation.

Before joining the firm, Erika worked in the Legal Regulatory & Marketing Division of the Estée Lauder Companies, Inc., where she was responsible for ensuring compliance with self-regulatory agencies, federal and state laws. Ms. Aspericueta has also defended physicians, nurses and hospitals in medical malpractice cases. Erika completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, where she double majored in Political Science and Chicano/a Studies. Ms. Aspericueta participated in UCLA’s Law Fellows Program. Erika completed her legal studies at Thomas Jefferson Law School, where she served as President of La Raza and competed in moot court.

Erika is dedicated to pro bono work and volunteers at The Los Angeles County Bar Association Domestic Violence Legal Services Project helping individuals acquire restraining orders. Ms. Aspericueta serves on multiple Boards of Directors. Her service includes serving on the Board of Directors for Ferias Legales, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free legal services to the community while increasing diversity in the legal field.

Most recently, Erika was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the UCLA Latino Alumni Association, where she is the chair of the Community Relations Committee. Ms. Aspericueta is a proud member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and Committee Member of the LACBA Advisory Committee on Women in the Legal Profession and Diversity in the Profession.

Heriberto Veliz-photo
Heriberto Veliz

Heriberto Veliz is an attorney at Perez & Caballero, representing plaintiffs in catastrophic personal injury, premises liability, and wrongful death cases. He has extensive training in litigation and is dedicated to vigorously advocating for his clients. Heriberto was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco and raised in Sylmar, California. He graduated with Honors from CSUN with a B.S. in Finance. He then earned his J.D. from Loyola Law School. While at Loyola, he served as President of the La Raza. Heriberto also worked as a clinical student for the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic, where he represented victims of crimes seeking lawful status to the United States. Heriberto highly values building relationships and serving the community. He is an active member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), the San Fernando Valley Bar Association (SFVBA), and will be proudly serving on the MABA Board of Trustees for a second time.

Oscar Rene Gutierrez-photo
Oscar Rene Gutierrez

Oscar Rene Gutierrez is the son of Mexican immigrants from Guadalajara and La Barca, Jalisco. After graduating from Loyola High School of Los Angeles in 2002, he attended the University of Southern California (USC) where he graduated in 2006. Oscar then enrolled at Pepperdine University School of Law as a Diversity Scholar. While at Pepperdine Law, he served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew, United States District Court Judge for the Central District of California in the summer of 2008. Oscar graduated from Pepperdine Law in 2010.

Oscar currently practices law as a trial attorney with his father, Oscar H. Gutierrez. Their practice focuses exclusively on litigating and trying plaintiff’s personal injury matters across the state of California. The vast majority of Oscar’s legal work aids the monolingual Spanish-speaking community here in southern California. His goal is to ensure that the rights of Latinos are protected in our judicial system, regardless of their immigration status, finances, or socioeconomic background. He loves trial work and representing his clients. Oscar was named to The National Trial Lawyers “Top 40 Under 40 – Civil Plaintiff” in 2016, 2017, and 2018. He was also a nominee for the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) “Rising Star” award in 2016 and was recognized as a Southern California “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers in 2017 and 2018. Oscar was also recently selected as a Lifetime Member for the Best Attorneys of America in 2018.

Oscar is the current President-Elect of the Mexican-American Bar Association of Los Angeles County (MABA). He will be MABA President in 2019. Oscar also serves as Secretary for the Latino Alumni Society of Loyola High School and is the Co-Chair of the Court Alerts Committee for the Litigation Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA). He is a proud member of both the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) and Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) where he serves as the Consumer Attorneys Lead Liaison for California State Assembly Member Ian Calderon.

Beatriz Alfaro-photo
Beatriz Alfaro

Ms. Beatriz Alfaro was born in El Salvador and raised in Los Angeles. Ms. Alfaro earned her undergraduate degree in 2013 from Loyola Marymount University—where she double majored in Women’s Studies and Spanish. She developed an early passion for public service, promoting diversity, and gender equality. That commitment led her to UC Davis School of Law, also known as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall. While in law school, she clerked at the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office, Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, and Attorney General’s Office in Los Angeles. In the fall of 2015, Ms. Alfaro externed for Associate Justice Elena Duarte at the Third District Court of Appeal. Post-graduation, she secured a Civil Rights Fellowship with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Ms. Alfaro has participated in the UCLA Law Fellows program and the Latino Leadership Initiative at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Ms. Alfaro was also recognized by Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) with the Future History Maker Award. Ms. Alfaro is a native Spanish speaker and hopes to always partake in mentoring programs since they were fundamental to her success. Currently, Ms. Alfaro is an Associate Attorney at Shegerian & Associates, which has obtained record breaking verdicts in Los Angeles County. Shegerian & Associates specializes in all areas of employment law, including sexual harassment, workplace discrimination, and wrongful termination.

Juan Redín-photo
Juan Redín

Juan Jose Redín is a Senior Associate with the global law firm of Norton Rose Fulbright. Juan was born and raised in Ixtapan de la Sal, Mexico. At the age of 10 he immigrated to the United States with his Mom and younger sister. Juan was raised in a single parent household and is the first in his family to graduate from college. As an undocumented student, Juan endured many challenges on his journey to achieve his Dream of higher education. Juan attended Mt. San Jacinto Community College and Mt. San Antonio College before being able to take advantage of California’s AB 540 and transfer to the University of California at Los Angeles. Juan received his bachelors in political science, magna cum lade, from UCLA in 2003. A double Bruin, Juan obtained his Juris Doctor from the UCLA School of Law. During law school, Juan served as the Executive Editor and Co-Editor in Chief of the Chicano Latino Law Review and the External Co-Chair of the La Raza Law Student Association. Juan also served as Attorney General of the National Latino/a Law Student Association and completed a judicial externship with the Honorable Fernando Olguin at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Since graduating from law school in 2007, Juan has dedicated his entire legal career representing school districts, cities, various public agencies, and underwriters in multi-million-dollar public finance transactions. Juan has published several articles relating to public finance and the regulation of municipal securities. Juan is passionate and deeply committed to expanding educational access to those who are less fortunate, especially for Dreamers. Juan is a member of the UCLA Marco Firebaugh Dream Fund dedicated to assist less fortunate students pursue and obtain a legal education (Marco Firebaugh was the lead co-sponsor of AB 540, which gave Juan and thousands of immigrant youth access to higher education). Through his work with Dreamers, Juan was honored with an invitation to join First Lady Michelle Obama during the 2012 State of the Union address in Washington DC.

Denisse O. Gastélum-photo
Denisse O. Gastélum

Denisse O. Gastélum is an associate at Casillas & Associates, where she practices law in the areas of civil rights and catastrophic injury, representing plaintiffs in state and federal courts throughout the State of California. Ms. Gastélum was born in East Los Angeles into an immigrant family from Chihuahua and Sinaloa, México. Having come from humble beginnings, her commitment to advocating on behalf of those harmed by civil rights violations and catastrophic injuries comes naturally.  

Ms. Gastélum completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, where she majored in Psychology and minored in Political Science and Education. She then embarked upon her legal studies at Loyola Law School, where she served as a mentor for the Academic Support Program, a debate coach for the Johnnie Cochran Middle School Debate Program, a member of the review team for For People of Color, Inc., and a law clerk for The Cochran Firm.  Following law school, she served as a Public Service Corps Fellow for the Honorable Teresa Sánchez-Gordon. 

Ms. Gastélum is the 2018 President of Mexican American Bar Association and the 2018 President-Elect of the Latina Lawyers Bar Association. Throughout Ms. Gastélum’s tenure with MABA, she has served as the President-Elect, Vice President, Treasurer, and Trustee. The accomplishments of her tenure include building coalitions with minority bar associations to organize townhalls geared towards providing community leaders with tools to protect vulnerable communities under the Trump Administration; securing a partnership with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, wherein volunteers provide free legal services through legal clinics and naturalization and Know Your Rights workshops; introducing the MobileCause fundraiser, which has proven to be a reliable means to raise funds necessary for MABA’s Federal Judicial Externship Program and High School Scholarship Program.

Currently, Ms. Gastélum holds the position of President-Elect of the Latina Lawyers Bar Association and is also a Board Member of the Consumers Attorneys Association of Los Angeles. Throughout her tenure with LLBA, Ms. Gastélum has served in the capacity of Secretary, Dinner Chair and Scholarship Chair. She is also a founding member of the LLBA Young Lawyers Committee.

Ms. Gastélum has also served as mentor for Motivating Our Students Through Experience, a non-profit organization geared towards mentoring young girls enrolled in middle schools and high schools located in underserved communities. Over the years, Ms. Gastélum has been a speaker on various panels regarding the practice of law and career advice.