2017 - 2018 Executive Officers & Governing Board Members 


Robin Jung currently practices financial services litigation and automotive products liability defense at Dykema Gossett LLP. Robin represents banks and mortgage servicers in consumer financial litigation and also has extensive experience in products liability defense and breach of warranty for manufacturers of automobiles, pharmaceuticals, industrial machinery, and consumer hand tools. He previously practiced business litigation and insurance coverage defense involving major property and commercial liability claims litigation. Robin has been selected to SuperLawyer’s Southern California Rising Stars List from 2014 – 2017 and has been recognized as a 2017 “Top Attorney” by Pasadena Magazine.  During law school, Robin was a certified law clerk at the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office - Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit and also clerked at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles' Asian Pacific Islander Unit. A graduate of Loyola Law School and UCLA, Robin was been an APABA board member since he was a student representative and also serves as APABA's social committee co-chair.


William C. Sung is a partner in the Employment and Labor Group of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP and vice-chair of the firm’s Wage and Hour Class Action Practice. Billy specializes in the defense of wage and hour class and representative action lawsuits in federal and state court and has represented employers in single-plaintiff discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, whistleblower retaliation, wage and hour, and trade secret misappropriation lawsuits and governmental agency investigations. Billy received his J.D. from USC Law School, 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, 84 S. CAL. L. REV. 487 (2011). A recipient of SCCLA's scholarship, Billy has externed for the Hon. Kim M. Wardlaw of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Hon. Ernest M. Robles of the United States Bankruptcy Court. Billy graduated from UC Irvine with a B.A. in Philosophy.


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.


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.


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.


John Ryan De La Merced is an associate at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP.  John’s practice focuses on business litigation, which includes commercial and intellectual property disputes.  John currently serves as a member of the board of governors for the Philippine American Bar Association and on the advisory board for the St. Thomas More Society of Los Angeles.  John attained his B.A., cum laude, from UC Riverside and his J.D. from UCLA School of Law.  During law school, John served as a judicial extern at the Los Angeles Superior Court to the Honorable R. Bruce Minto and at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to the Honorable S. James Otero.  John also served as chief articles editor for the Asian Pacific American Law Journal, one of only two law journals in the United States that focuses exclusively on legal issues affecting Asian Pacific American communities.  

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.

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. 

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.

Travis Kaya was born and raised on Maui and received his BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Pomona College in Claremont, CA. Travis then served as Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at the University of Sydney. Prior to law school, he taught English in the Japanese countryside with the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program.  Travis serves as a Student Representative for APABA and President of Loyola's chapter of APALSA. He is Chief Developments Editor on the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review and Vice President of the St. Thomas More Law Honor Society. He will be joining Venable LLP in the fall.

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.

Kathy Khommarath is a staff attorney at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) with a focus on immigration law and immigrants’ rights. Kathy obtained her J.D. at Southwestern Law School where she served as the president of the Public Interest Law Committee and as an executive board member of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association and the National Lawyers Guild. During law school, she was a law clerk in the Impact Litigation Unit at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA and a regular volunteer with its Immigration and Citizenship Project. She served as a judicial extern for U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero. Kathy currently serves on the boards of the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance and the Thai American Bar Association, and is a steering committee member of API Equality-LA. She is also an active member in APABA’s Community Service and Outreach Committee. Prior to law school, Kathy was the community organizer for API Equality-LA and earned her B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Asian and Pacific Studies at Loyola Marymount University.

Emily Kuwahara is a partner in Crowell & Moring's Los Angeles office and is a member of the firm's Litigation Group. Emily has a broad-based litigation practice, including breach of contract actions, business torts, antitrust and consumer class actions, unfair competition law and other complex business disputes at both the trial and appellate court levels. Emily has also represented clients in criminal antitrust matters and grand jury investigations, particularly in Japan.  Prior to joining Crowell & Moring, Emily was an associate with Folger Levin & Kahn LLP. Prior to joining that firm, she served as law clerk to the Honorable Milan D. Smith, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. While in law school, Emily was an extern to the Honorable Kathryn Doi Todd, California Court of Appeal.  Emily graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in interaction design engineering, an individually designed major. She then received her M.A. in telecommunications from Michigan State University, with an emphasis in telecommunications policy. She received her law degree from the University of Southern California, where she served as a senior copy editor on the Law Review.

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 Pais 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 as a law student representative since 2016.  She 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.  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.  In the future, Grace hopes to use her J.D. to advocate on behalf of children with disabilities, particularly with a focus on their educational rights.  Eventually she wants to also do work at the legislative level to promote equal access for students with disabilities.  After receiving her B.A in English at UCLA, she worked as an educator before commencing law school.

Purvi G. Patel is the hiring partner for Morrison & Foerster’s Los Angeles office and Co-Chair of the firm’s Diversity Strategy Committee. She is a member of the firm’s Consumer Litigation and Class Action and Privacy and Data Security practice groups, and focused her practice primarily on defending national retailers, manufacturers and other businesses in class action matters involving unfair competition, false advertising, consumer fraud, data security, and privacy claims.  After graduating from the University of Chicago with a B.A. with honors in history, philosophy, and social studies of science and medicine, Purvi received her J.D. magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Ashe Puri is an experienced trial attorney who represents both plaintiffs and defendants in patent disputes. Ashe has extensive experience in handling patent disputes from inception to trial, including managing claim construction, depositions and discovery. In addition to patent litigation, Ashe is experienced in trying commercial disputes and copyright, trademark and Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) matters.  Prior to joining Fox Rothschild, Ashe was a senior patent litigation associate at an international law firm in Palo Alto, California. He also previously worked at international law firms in Philadelphia and New York City.  While in law school, Ashe was a member of the Villanova Law Review and served as a university senator. He also externed for the Honorable Roderick R. McKelvie of the U.S. District Court of Delaware.  During college, he served as president of the school’s IEEE/Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society. He also interned at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Lockheed Martin and L3 Communication Systems.  Ashe has technical experience in electronics, computers and medical devices.

Suzetty Shen is an associate at Jackson Lewis, P.C., specializing in employment litigation and counseling. She 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.

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.

Stephanie Tang serves as a legal adviser at the Social Security Administration’s Office of Hearings Operations concerning the application of pertinent laws, rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and legal precedents which result in administrative appellate decisions on claims requesting eligibility to social security benefits filed under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act. Ms. Tang graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with dual B.A. degrees in Criminology and Psychology.. She received her law degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Stephanie is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese.

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, civil RICO, and declatory 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.  He regularly volunteers at the Monterey Park Legal Clinic and co-chairs the Community Service and Outreach Committee.  

Jennifer Tsao is an associate with the employment and labor law firm Littler Mendelson, P.C. Jennifer represents employers in litigation of employment law matters, including discrimination, retaliation, harassment, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, and wage and hour issues. She also counsels employers regarding compliance with California employment law. 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 obtained her B.A. at UCLA, where she was the founding president of a leadership organization called Ideal Leaders Association and she was the student commencement speaker for the UCLA Asian American Studies Department in 2008. Eleanor currently serves as the co-chair of APABA's MCLE Committee. In addition, Eleanor is the Vice President of Membership of the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance (APAWLA).

David Yang is a Senior Associate in the litigation group of LimNexus LLP, where his practice is focused on business and commercial litigation.  Previously, David practice focused on professional liability litigation principally involving lawyers, white-collar litigation and professional licensing defense.  In his ninth year of practice, his experience includes representing clients in matters involving shareholder disputes, unfair competition, trade secret misappropriation, real property issues, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, professional liability, legal malpractice, professional licensing, and fee disputes.   During law school, he worked as a law clerk in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. David obtained his law degree from Loyola Law School and attended undergrad at UCLA.  David also currently serves as the Executive Vice President of KABA.

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.

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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