2018 - 2019 Executive Officers & Governing Board Members 


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.


Christina Yang is Pro Bono Director & Legal Counsel for Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles. As Pro Bono Director, 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. As Legal Counsel, Yang provides in-house legal support and advice to the management team and senior leadership regarding general business operations, compliance, and risk management. She also works across the organization to identify, assess, and reduce legal and business risks. In this role she engages pro bono counsel to support as appropriate.  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. 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.


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.


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.

Rebekah Hoelscher is a 2L at Loyola Law School and an APABA Student Representative. At Loyola, she serves as a board member for APALSA as well as Faculty Chair for the Loyola Day Student Bar Association. She is the Westlaw Student Representative at Loyola. This summer, Rebekah was a law clerk at Goodkin Law Group, a real estate litigation firm. Rebekah received her B.A. at UC Irvine, where she majored in Criminology and Chinese Studies. After graduating from UC Irvine, she taught English in Taipei for several years. She then worked in property management at a commercial real estate company in Irvine prior to attending law school.

Roger Hsieh is an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.  As an AUSA, Roger investigates and prosecutes cases involving health care fraud, bank fraud, public corruption, extortion, bank robbery, distribution of controlled substances, and other federal offenses. Before becoming an AUSA, 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 Senior Corporate and Employment Counsel at Entertainment Partners. She provides advice and counsel on corporate and employment law issues, and strives to be an effective business partner who balances legal risks with solutions sensitive to employee relations and business needs.  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, as well as the CAUSE Leadership Council. 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.

Gopi Panchapakesan is an associate at Bird Marella, P.C.  His practice focuses on the litigation of complex business disputes.  Gopi has extensive experience trying, mediating, and settling cases.  Gopi has represented companies and individuals across a wide variety of industries, including retail, healthcare, real estate, biomedical, software, and fashion.  Gopi has particular experience defending companies and individuals in quasi-criminal actions, including those brought under the federal civil RICO statute.  Gopi is a graduate of Northwestern University and Harvard 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. 

Jennifer Song is the Director of Policy for the Democratic Attorneys General Association.  Previously, she served as Special Counsel for Consumer Protection in the Executive Office of former Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and as the Senior Staff Attorney at the California Monitor Program, a program created by former Attorney General Harris to monitor the National Mortgage Settlement for Californians. Jennifer has always been committed to public interest issues and started her legal career as 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.

Kay Suh is an associate at Lee, Hong, Degerman, Kang & Waimey, where she represents and advises foreign and domestic business enterprises in a broad range of corporate and business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, disposition, securities and financing, and other corporate and business matters ranging from day-to-day business operations to the development and implementation of major transactions and business agreements.  She also represents and advises clients on various employment issues, including wage and hour, discipline and termination processes, harassment, retaliation, and misclassification issues.  Kay currently serves as the President-Elect of Korean American Bar Association of Southern California.  She obtained her B.A. from UC Irvine and her J.D. from Golden Gate University.

Cathy Ta is Senior Counsel at SulmeyerKupetz, A Professional Corporation, a premier financial restructuring and litigation firm. Splitting her time between the firm’s Los Angeles and Riverside offices, Cathy focuses on all aspects chapter 7, 9, 11 and 12 bankruptcy and litigation.  She has extensive experience counseling and representing corporate and individual debtors, creditors, trustees and public agencies. Notable past work includes defending similarly situated executive-clients in complex preference cases in the Fleetwood bankruptcy cases; litigating and settling novel excess coverage policy issues for a joint powers authority in the San Bernardino chapter 9 bankruptcy case; and obtaining summary judgment in a highly-contested, complex state court case alleging fraudulent misrepresentation, financial elder abuse and breach of fiduciary duty.  An active member of the legal community, Cathy is APABA’s MCLE Committee Co-Chair and she holds leadership positions in the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, the Insolvency Law Committee of the California Lawyers Association, the Inland Empire Bankruptcy Forum, and the Southern California Network of the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation. She has written numerous published articles and regularly presents and produces MCLE programs 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 a compliance counsel at Wedgewood Inc. 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.

May 2019 Installation Dinner

January 2019 Board Retreat

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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