2018 - 2019 Executive Officers & Governing Board Members 

PRESIDENT

William Sung is a partner in the Employment and Labor Practice Group of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP and Vice Chair of the firm’s Wage and Hour Class Action Practice. He specializes in the defense of wage and hour class and PAGA representative actions in federal and state court, and represents employers in single-plaintiff discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, whistleblower retaliation, wage and hour, and trade secret misappropriation lawsuits as well as governmental agency charges and investigations. Billy regularly counsels employers on their employment practices, such as advising on wage and hour and risk-management issues, conducting employment practices audits, and evaluating disciplinary action and termination decisions. Billy currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Lewis Brisbois’ Employment & Labor Group Client Alerts and regularly gives presentations on wage and hour and other employment law topics at firm seminars and in partnership with various community organizations. Billy received his Juris Doctor in 2011 from USC Gould School of Law, where he served as a Senior Content Editor on the Southern California Law Review and published an article entitled, Taking the Fight Back to Title VII: A Case for Redefining "Because of Sex" to Include Gender Stereotypes, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity.

PRESIDENT-ELECT

Christina Yang is Pro Bono Director for Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles. She cultivates and leads volunteer involvement programs to support Advancing Justice - LA’s work, including developing opportunities for pro bono attorneys. Christina also focuses on strengthening relationships between Advancing Justice - LA and pro bono stakeholders like attorneys, law firms, corporations, bar associations, and law schools. Prior to rejoining Advancing Justice, Christina was Staff Attorney with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), a global nonprofit HIV/AIDS advocacy group, where she represented the organization in both plaintiff’s- and defense-side litigation. At AHF, her cases concerned alleged violations of federal and state anti-kickback laws by healthcare-related entities, violations of First Amendment and other constitutional rights, and landlord-tenant issues, among others. Before joining AHF, Christina was an associate in the litigation and dispute resolution group with Mayer Brown LLP in Los Angeles, focusing primarily on commercial litigation. Christina is a 2009 graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Law, and received her undergraduate degree summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. During law school, she was a Publishing Editor for the California Law Review and a Senior Articles Editor for the Asian American Law Journal.

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

Arnold Lee is a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Pasadena.  Previously, he was a litigation associate at Lawrence, Beach, Allen & Choi practicing civil rights, employment, and public entity defense. He received his J.D. from Southwestern Law School and his B.A. in history and political science from UCLA. During law school, Arnold served as the president of the Asian Pacific American Law School Association, a judicial extern to Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen of the United States District Court, Central District of California, and a legal extern for the United States Attorney’s Office, Civil Division. Arnold has been active with APABA since his first year in law school.

TREASURER

Derek Ishikawa is an associate in the Santa Monica office of Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP, where he practices labor and employment litigation, as well as higher education law. Previously, he was a litigation association at Loeb & Loeb LLP. Derek graduated from UCLA with a joint J.D./M.P.P. degree and served as Co-Chief Managing Editor for the Asian Pacific American Law Journal. In addition, Derek externed for U.S. District Court Judge Dean D. Pregerson. Prior to law school, Derek worked as a Management Aide for the City of Torrance, as a California Senate Fellow in Sacramento, and as an assistant English teacher in Ibaraki, Japan. Derek graduated from Pomona College with a B.A. in Public Policy Analysis-Politics. He currently serves as APABA's MCLE chair.

SECRETARY

Erica Yen is an associate at Reed Smith LLP where her practice focuses on complex products liability litigation on behalf of pharmaceutical and medical device companies. At Reed Smith, she serves as associate liaison for the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, pro bono coordinator for the summer associate program, and on the summer associate recruiting committee. Erica received her B.A. from Columbia University and her J.D. from UC Hastings, where she was an extern for the Honorable Edward M. Chen of the Northern District of California, an executive board member of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, and notes editor for the Hastings International and Comparative Law Review. Erica is also a violinist with the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic and Crown City Symphony.

BOARD OF GOVERNORS

Toan Chung is Co-Chair of the Business Restructuring & Reorganization group at Roquemore, Pringle & Moore. A certified bankruptcy law specialist by the California State Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization, Toan represents Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 trustees, municipalities, creditors’ committees and shareholders in all phases of bankruptcy litigation. He has litigated numerous adversary proceedings, contested matters and appeals in Bankruptcy Courts, District Courts, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The son of Vietnamese war refugees, Toan values giving back to the community and serves as pro bono counsel on bankruptcy matters for Asian Americans Advancing Justice—Los Angeles, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Neighborhood Legal Services, Public Counsel, ACLU of Southern California and Bet Tzedek.  He is a regular volunteer at APABA’s legal clinic in Monterey Park and at SCCLA’s legal clinic in San Gabriel. Toan is the founder of the Lulu’s Water Buffalo Farm Scholarship Foundation, which provides scholarships to high school seniors.

Cherisse Cleofe is an associate at Kiesel Law LLP, a leading Los Angeles catastrophic personal injury, products liability, and consumer rights law firm. Cherisse primarily represents plaintiffs in products liability mass tort litigation against medical device, pharmaceutical, and consumer goods manufacturing companies. She serves as Liaison Counsel in the Wright Hip Systems Litigation and assists the firm in fulfilling its duties as Co-Liaison Counsel in the Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cases.  Cherisse received a B.S. in Management Science from the University of California, San Diego in 2003 and a J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 2012. She currently serves as Secretary of the Philippine American Bar Association Board of Governors and is also a member of the USF School of Law Board of Governors, Communications Co-Chair of the LACBA Litigation Section, and Membership Committee Co-Chair for the National Filipino American Lawyers Association..

Harumi Hata is Of Counsel at Buchalter where she represents multinational companies, including U.S., European and Pacific Rim/Asian clients, in business structuring and advice, corporate and commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, financing arrangements, and real estate acquisitions and dispositions.  Harumi advises clients with respect to strategic alliances, internal company management and operations, and business affairs. She also advises business clients in connection with the expansion of their operations and the establishment and management of subsidiaries and affiliates in the U.S. and abroad, including structuring and tax planning coordination and advice with respect to cross-border operations and business activities.  Harumi is fluent in Japanese and has a thorough understanding of Japanese business practices and protocol.  Harumi earned her J.D. at Loyola Law School and her B.A. at Loyola Marymount University.  She was recognized as a Distinguished Alumna by Loyola Law School.

Roger Hsieh is an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.  Before becoming an Assistant United States Attorney, Roger was an associate at O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles where he represented healthcare, technology, and entertainment clients in litigation and white collar investigations.  At O’Melveny, Roger also counseled clients on the Affordable Care Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), state privacy laws, anti-kickback laws, corporate practice of medicine laws, and data privacy and security.  Prior to joining O’Melveny, Roger was a judicial law clerk to United States District Court Judge John Z. Lee for the Northern District of Illinois.  Roger obtained his J.D. from UCLA Law School where he served as Co-Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Law Students’ Association and was a member of the UCLA Law Review and the Asian Pacific American Law Journal.

Jane Kespradit is a litigation associate at LimNexus LLP (formerly Lim Ruger), where she practices business and employment litigation. In the business litigation arena, Jane represents companies in business disputes, including breach of contract, fraud, and unfair business practices. In employment matters, Jane represents companies in the defense of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims. Jane is a Founding Member of the Thai American Bar Association (TABA), served as its Founding Secretary, and currently serves as a member of TABA’s Board of Governors. Prior to her work at LimNexus, she was a judicial extern to the Hon. Tomar Mason (ret.). Jane earned her B.A. from UCLA and her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she served as an officer of the Asian Pacific American Law School Association and law school representative to the Asian American Bar Association.

Stacy Kwon is a 2L at UCLA School of Law and an APABA Student Representative.  At UCLA, Stacy is pursuing a Media, Entertainment, and Technology Law and Policy specialization.  She is a staff editor on the UCLA Law Review and participates in UCLA's internal moot court competitions.  Previously, she volunteered with the El Centro Veterans Legal Clinic, served as a mentor with the Law Fellows Program, and was a staff editor on UCLA's Entertainment Law Review.  This summer, Stacy was a Business & Legal Affairs intern at Marvel Studios.  Next summer, she will be a summer associate in the litigation group at a large law firm.  Stacy graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.A. in French.  She studied abroad at Sciences Po in Paris, France.  Prior to law school, Stacy was a practice assistant at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

Jade Leung is an associate at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, and is a member of the litigation group. Her practice includes advising on and litigating issues relating to contract disputes, employment discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, and wage and hour issues, in both single-plaintiff and class action cases. Jade received her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law, cum laude, in 2011. She served as President of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, and Communications Chair of the Women's Leadership Coalition, as well as an Articles Editor for the Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy. Jade is actively involved in pro bono and community work. She is a two-time recipient of pro bono service awards from the ACLU of Southern California. She is also proud to be on the Board of Directors for Asian Americans Advancing Justice—Los Angeles. Additionally, Jade is Treasurer of the Jeff Yang Memorial Scholarship, which provides scholarships to high school seniors who are immigrants or children of immigrants.

Jason Liang is a partner at the law firm of Liang Ly LLP.  He represents corporate and individual clients in various complex civil and criminal matters.  In 2007, Jason began his career at Jones Day, where he worked on high profile, complex trial and appellate matters.  He was a member of the trial team that defended the former sheriff of Orange County in a 10-week jury trial in federal court.  In 2013, Jason joined the boutique litigation firm of Murphy Rosen LLP where he continued to represent corporate entities and individuals in complex civil disputes.  His experience includes litigating issues involving trade secret and intellectual property theft, defamation, breach of contract, fraud, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO Act”), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Economic Espionage Act, conspiracy, anti-trust and unfair competition laws, and cross-border disputes involving Chinese law.  He graduated with honors from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. 

Dinh Luu practices estate planning and elder law at Goldfarb & Luu P.C., where she is a founding partner. She received her J.D. from Southwestern School of Law and her B.A. from Colorado College in History and Political Science. In law school, she clerked at the Children’s Law Center and Hon. Dean D. Pregerson of the United States District Court, Central District. Following law school, she clerked at the Superior Court of New Jersey, Burlington County. After returning to the Los Angeles area, she was an associate at several Los Angeles firms before going on to serve as the Supervising Attorney of the Compton Court Legal Self Help Center.

Don Nghiem is a Deputy District Attorney with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He previously worked as in-house counsel for JM Eagle, the world’s largest PVC and plastic pipe manufacturer. Don received his J.D. and Certificate of Business Law from the USC Gould School of Law. While attending law school, he was president of the USC Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and an active student volunteer of the various Los Angeles API bar associations. Prior to law school, Don volunteered in the Philippines with the Vietnamese Overseas Initiative for Conscience Empowerment, where he assisted Vietnamese refugees and stateless families resettle to Canada. Don graduated from the University of California, San Diego with dual degrees in Political Science – Public Policy and Management Science.

Grace Pak is a recent graduate of Southwestern Law School, where she served as President of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, President of Teen Court, and Treasurer of Delta Theta Phi.  She has also been on APABA’s Board of Governors in the Social Chair Committee since 2016. Grace was recently a certified law clerk for the Riverside County Public Defender and externed for the Honorable Fred J. Fujioka at the Sylmar Juvenile Courthouse and the Honorable Tim Saito at the Edelman Children’s Court working with the Adoption processes and family unification.  She has also clerked at the civil litigation law firm Salisian|Lee LLP. She has received the Judge Ronald S.W. Lew Scholarship, the M. Dick Osumi Civil Rights and Public Interest Scholarship, the Lim Ruger Scholarship, and multiple Wildman/Schumacher Merit Based Scholarships.  After receiving her B.A in English Literature at UCLA, she worked as an educator before commencing law school.

Calimay Pham is currently a Staff Attorney with the Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department "CSSD," where she works to provide for families through the establishment and enforcement of child support orders.  Prior to joining CSSD, Calimay was a Staff Attorney at Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping parents regain and maintain custody of children who have been placed in the foster care system.  Calimay is a graduate of UCLA School of Law, where she served as a Managing Editor and Symposium Editor for the Asian Pacific American Law Journal. Calimay was also selected to serve as a Writing Advisor, a role through which she developed the research and writing skills of first-year law students. While at UCLA, Calimay was recognized as an Outstanding Brief Writer for the UCLA Fall 2012 Moot Court Competition and received a scholarship from the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association.  Calimay has built a strong foundation within the Los Angeles community. Prior to law school, Calimay served two years as a JusticeCorps Graduate Fellow, assisting self-represented litigants in family law and probate at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Downtown Los Angeles.  During her time in law school, Calimay mentored prospective law school applicants at the UCLA Law Academic Outreach Resource Center. She also clerked for the Kinship Care Project at Bet Tzedek Legal Services, a non-profit organization providing free, comprehensive legal services for low-income individuals and families in Los Angeles. She has served as an extern for the Honorable S. James Otero of the United States District Court, Central District of California.  Calimay is a Board Member of the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance and Secretary of the Multicultural Bar Alliance.

Suzetty Shen is an Employment Counsel at Forever 21.  Prior to Forever 21, she was a litigation associate at Jackson Lewis, P.C., specializing in the defense of complex wage and hour class and representative class actions, single-plaintiff employment disputes, and employment counseling. Suzetty received her bachelor of science degree from UCLA, and her law degree from USC Law School, where she served as a Senior Content Editor for the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, and as the elected External Vice President for the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. During law school, Suzetty was also an extern for the Honorable Robert L. Hess, Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, and an extern for the Honorable Dolly M. Gee, Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. 

Pooja Patel is an associate attorney at the Los Angeles office of Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP and is a member of the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group.  Prior to joining Burke, Pooja represented employees and employers in employment litigation including wage and hour disputes, discrimination claims, and wrongful termination in both California and Federal Courts.  Pooja has substantial experience in counseling employers in pre-litigation matters, representing employers in administrative hearings, and all stages of civil litigation. In representing employers in Department of Labor wage and hour audits and unpaid wage disputes in front of the California Labor Commissioner’s Office, Pooja analyzed pay records for numerous employees to determine whether any California or Federal wage violations existed.  While in law school, Pooja was a Senior Editor for the Law Review, a member of the Jonathon M. Ault Mock Trial Team, and served as an Extern for the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Ohio.  Pooja is currently a Community Events Co-Director for the South Asian Bar Association of North America, Southern California.

Na Hyun Seo is an APABA Student Representative and 3L at Loyola Law School. At Loyola, she serves as a board member for APALSA and treasurer for the International Students Association. She is a research assistant to Professor Karl Manheim on Constitutional Law and has worked as a certified law student for the Special Education Law Clinic and family law summer extern for the Law Offices of Robert Nachshin. She received her B.A. in English from UCLA, where she worked for JusticeCorps and UCLA Student Legal Services. She also served as a board member for UCLA’s Project WILD (Working for Immigrant Literacy Development), for which she received the Chancellor’s Service Award. After graduating from UCLA, she taught English at a local primary and adult school in Arnedo, a small village in La Rioja, Spain. Na Hyun’s current career interests include privacy, cybersecurity, technology, and business. She speaks fluent Korean, moderate Spanish, beginning Japanese, and practices basic computer coding (HTML, CSS, and JAVASCRIPT).

Jennifer Song is an Attorney Advisor in the Executive Office of Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, focusing on consumer protection issues and policies. Previously, she was the Senior Staff Attorney for the California Monitor, a program of the California Attorney General. She has always been committed to public interest issues and was an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC). As a law student at UC Hastings School of Law, Jennifer served as the Vice President of APALSA and was a judicial extern for the Honorable Stephan Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, and for the Honorable Kathleen Thompson Lax of the United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District. Jennifer received her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California.

Cathy Ta is an Of Counsel attorney in the Business Services Group of Best Best & Krieger LLP, where she focuses on insolvency and bankruptcy counseling and litigation.  She has extensive experience representing corporate and individual debtors, creditors, trustees and public agencies in all aspects of Chapter 9, 7 and 11 contested proceedings.  Notable past work includes defending similarly situated executive-clients in complex preference cases in the Fleetwood bankruptcy cases, accomplishing a mediated settlement agreement for a client’s purchase of a competing business that filed chapter 11 bankruptcy, and litigating and settling novel bankruptcy and excess coverage policy issues for a joint powers authority in the San Bernardino chapter 9 bankruptcy case.  In addition to serving as Co-Chair of the MCLE Committee for APABA, Cathy is active in several other bar organizations, including currently as President of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers of the Inland Empire, Young Professionals Chair for the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation, Southern California Network, Sponsorships Chair for the Inland Empire Bankruptcy Forum and member of the Insolvency Law Committee of the State Bar of California.  She has written and published numerous articles on bankruptcy law.  She regularly presents and moderates on bankruptcy topics and more.

Diana Taing is a Senior Deputy County Counsel in the Labor & Employment division of the Los Angeles County Counsel’s Office.  She obtained her B.A. from UCLA and her J.D. from U.C. Hastings, College of the Law, where she served as a clinic counselor at the Employment Law Center and an extern in San Francisco Superior Court.  In Spring 2003, she served as an intern at the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Jane Tanimura is an associate at Greenberg & Weinmann, a firm that practices exclusively in plaintiff’s side employment litigation. Jane obtained her J.D. from USC Law School and her B.A. in English from Brown University. While attending law school, Jane was an active member of the USC Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and co-founded the Faculty Diversity Initiative, an organization aimed at rallying students around faculty diversity and working with the administration to hire a tenure-track, or full-time teaching, Asian American professor. Before law school, she was a corps for Teach for America in Los Angeles. Jane also serves as co-chair of APABA’s Professional Development Committee.

Helen Tran is a staff attorney at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLSLA). Her practice includes advocating for consumers' rights in private and public health care programs and connecting NLSLA's services to Asian American communities in the San Gabriel Valley. Prior to NLSLA, Helen was a staff attorney and NAPABA Law Foundation law fellow at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC in Washington, DC. Helen received her J.D. from the University of Southern California in 2012, and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in health policy from the University of Southern California in 2009. During law school, she co-founded the Faculty Diversity Initiative and served on the boards of the Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice, Public Interest Law Foundation, and Asian Pacific American Law Students Association.

Seaton Tsai is an Attorney III in the Corporate Legal Department for California's State Compensation Insurance Fund.  His practice entails advice and counsel to internal partners and litigating State Fund's insurance disputes in state and federal court, including insurance bad faith, premium fraud, civil RICO, and declaratory relief actions regarding coverage.  Previously, he worked at Aguilera Law Group representing a large insurance carrier in Cumis counsel disputes, Buss and Crawford recovery cases, insurance bad faith, and other additional insured issues.  He has also extensively litigated consumer-side TCPA/FDCPA, fraud, personal injury, and warranty (i.e. Song-Beverly and Magnuson-Moss) actions, and acts as outside counsel for several mid to large-sized businesses.  He regularly volunteers at the Monterey Park Legal Clinic and co-chairs the Community Service and Outreach Committee. 

Jennifer Tsao is Senior Counsel, Employment at Forever 21, Inc.  She advises on employment law matters and manages employment litigation for Forever 21’s global workforce.  Prior to Forever 21, Jennifer was a senior associate with the employment and labor law firm Littler Mendelson, P.C.  Jennifer has been actively involved with APABA since she was a law student at USC Gould School of Law.  During law school, Jennifer served as President of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, a legal services intern with the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, and as a judicial extern for the Honorable Ronald S. W. Lew, U.S. District Judge. Jennifer received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley.

Eleanor Ung is the legal compliance supervisor at LoanMart. She obtained her J.D. from Wayne State University Law School in Detroit where she served as President of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, Governor-at-Large of the Student Bar Association, and Note Editor of the Journal of Law in Society. She was a judicial extern for the Honorable Fred Fujioka of the Los Angeles Superior Court. Eleanor's contributions to the community have been recognized by the receipt of the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association's "Law Student of the Year" and the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan's "Outstanding Woman Law Student Award." Eleanor started college at 16. She received her undergraduate degree from UCLA. Eleanor serves as the co-chair of APABA's MCLE Committee. In addition, Eleanor is a board member of the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance (APAWLA).


February 2018 Installation Dinner


January 2015 Board Retreat

 
February 2014 Installation Dinner
 
 

January 2013 Board Retreat



February 2012 Installation Dinner



March 2011 Installation Dinner



November 2010 Board Meeting



February 2010 Installation Dinner

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