Fall 2012 Alumni Updates


Bruce Bottini is a trial lawyer in Portland, Ore., specializing in personal injury law. He practices with his wife, Marianne, and his son, John. Paul Kemp is a personal injury attorney in San Jose. He and his wife, Amy ’01, have two children still at home. He is also the owner and winemaker of Loma Prieta Winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains.


Phillip Nielsen writes: “My son, Jeffrey, passed the California Bar Exam and now practices with me in San Jose. Our practice emphasizes estate planning, trust and probate administration, and business transactions.”


Mitch Lyons has started a statewide organization to promote social–emotional learning (SEL) in all public schools in Massachusetts, with a website at SEL4Mass.org. The purpose of SEL is to teach children how to manage their emotions, have long-lasting relationships, and achieve in all areas of life.


Timothy Dixon is an associate professor of history and legal studies at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale–Davie, Fla. He received an M.A. in history from the University of Alabama. He has coauthored two books, one a history of federal courts in Alabama, the other a history of the Alabama Supreme Court. Richard DuBois was appointed to be a judge on the San Mateo County Superior Court. Previously, he had been a family law commissioner for the court, since 1002. He was in private practice for many years, as a partner at DuBois and Kelly and at Nudelman and DuBois, and as an associate attorney at the Law Offices of George P. Eshoo. Mary Hood B.A. ’70 is director of the Heafey Law Library. For the law school’s centennial, she compiled a bibliography of law faculty scholarship: Santa Clara Law: A Century of Santa Clara Law Faculty Publications, 1911–1010. It can be found online at Santa Clara Law Digital Commons.


The Honorable Risë Jones Pichon, a judge on the Santa Clara County Superior Court, and Van Dang ’86, vice president of law and deputy general counsel at Cisco Systems, were named Women of Influence by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. Judge Pichon received the Santa Clara Law Social Justice and Human Rights Award in October 1011 for her work for equality and human rights. Judge Pichon is the assistant supervising judge of the Superior Court’s criminal division, the chair of the Superior Court Jury Standards Committee, and a member of other court committees.


Howard Charney MBA ’73 has been elected to SCU’s Board of Trustees. Charney is an engineer, serial entrepreneur, patent law attorney, and a 35-year veteran of Silicon Valley’s high tech industry. As senior vice president at Cisco, he contributes to the networking company’s strategy and direction, advises customers on implementing critical Internet technologies, and communicates Cisco’s vision to key audiences worldwide. He was one of the four founders of 3Com Corporation, and the founder of Grand Junction Networks, which invented Fast Ethernet and low-cost switching and was purchased by Cisco in 1995. He sits on the boards of several technology companies, and is on the advisory board for SCU’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society. Dave Scott B.A. ’74 writes: “Retired in 1002 from Silicon Valley. Spending time doing volunteer work for Norcal USTA, traveling around Europe, and splitting time between our homes in California and Colorado. Married, no kids, but friends all over.” Tim White writes: “Married, four children, three grandchildren, employed by PNC Bank as EVP/ chief operating officer in Calabasas, Calif., residing in Thousand Oaks, Calif.”


Gilbert Carrasco is co-author of The Law of Discrimination: Cases and Perspectives, published in 1011. He is a professor of law at Willamette University College of Law in Oregon. Patti White is on the State Bar Task Force on Admissions. She is also a member of the Committee of Bar Examiners.


William F. Abrams was hired by Atlanta-based King & Spalding LLP for its IP practice. Abrams joins from Boston’s Bingham McCutchen LLP, where he was the former co-chair of the IP practice group. He has handled patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secrets disputes for technology companies. Paula Ananda is associate chair of the Moving Image Arts Department at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. She is in post-production on her documentary, The Headman. Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson, a Superior Court of Guam judge, is retiring. Her contribution to the Guam judiciary includes work in developing Guam’s therapeutic court approach to address family violence, drug-and alcohol-related crimes, and juvenile justice. She is credited with the creation of the Driving While Influenced (DWI) Court and the rules of procedure and practice in the field of domestic violence. Judge Barrett-Anderson has served on the board of directors of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and the Federal Advisory Council on Juvenile Justice. Prior to her appointment, Barrett-Anderson served as a member of the 23rd and 24th Guam Legislatures, attorney general of Guam, and legal counsel to the Guam Department of Education.


James Baker, a veteran ERISA litigator, has joined Baker & McKenzie as a partner in the San Francisco/Palo Alto office. Philip S. Camilleri is an educational psychologist for the San Benito County Office of Education. He evaluates students with educational needs, does administration in special education, and has knowledge in special education law. Richard Falcone has returned to the Orange County office of Littler Mendelson, a management labor law firm. He specializes in employment law and litigation. Karl-Otto Hartmann is an adjunct professor at Suffolk University School of Law in Boston. He is CEO and founder of 40Act.com, a website for money management professionals. He is a partner of Fund Directors Counsel, of Northborough, Mass. He is chairman of the board of FocusShares Trust, a Scottrade-sponsored family of exchange-traded funds, and an independent trustee of The Thirty-Eight Hundred Fund, a Wells Fargo sponsored closed-end fund with $12 billion in assets.


Michael Milward is the chief executive of Hospice of Santa Cruz County. He is also a principal with Sierra Trial Group, which specializes in personal injury cases. David Strong is managing partner of Branson, Brinkop, Griffith & Strong in Redwood City. The firm’s Phoenix office is managed by John Campo ’91, B.S. ’88.


Albie B. Jachimowicz wrote: “Would love to see how young everyone looks [at the reunion], but my son Josh ’11 is getting married the same weekend to Caitlin Robinett ’10. See you at the 60th reunion!” Jeffrey Janoff was named a Super Lawyer for a second straight year by California Super Lawyers magazine. In addition to his private law practice in San Jose, he is a temporary judge for the Santa Clara County Superior Court. He is a former president of the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association. Rebecca Veltman is enjoying retirement, traveling, reconnecting with friends and family, and enjoying two young grandchildren.



Karen Drury Russell practices and promotes collaboration and mediation as alternatives to litigation in divorce proceedings through her law practice in Campbell. Cynthia Sevely B.S. ’80 was elected to a Superior Court judgeship in Santa Clara County in June. Previously, she was a prosecutor with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.


Sylvia Alvarez has been named woman of the year for the 13th Senate District by State Senator Elaine Alquist of San Jose. Alvarez is on the Evergreen School District’s board of trustees, and taught school for 26 years. She is also a member of the Evergreen Roundtable for San Jose City Council District 8. Michael Dillon is general counsel of Adobe Systems Incorporated. Dillon comes to the company with 25 years of corporate legal experience, much of it in the technology industry. Before signing on with Adobe, he was general counsel at Silver Spring Networks, a networking solutions provider. He also spent 14 years in the legal department of Sun Microsystems, including a stint as general counsel, prior to its acquisition by Oracle Corporation. He took a few years’ break from Sun to serve ONI Systems Corp., an optical networking company, as it was being launched.


Omar Habbas has been nominated for the 1012 San Jose Best of Business Award. He is a personal injury attorney. Royce Roberts explores the public’s misconception of public defenders, as well as the importance of our public defense system, in his new book Public Pretender. A public defender for more than 10 years, his book began as a way of understanding what he was experiencing at juvenile court with his clients and the child-welfare system. He works as a public defender in Washington state for the King County–funded nonprofit agency Society of Counsel Representing Accused Persons (SCRAP). Jill Schlichtmann is an administrative law judge in the Oakland office of the Court of Administrative Appeals.


Dorian Daley, senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary at Oracle, was named to the San Francisco Business Times 1012 Bay Area’s Most Influential Women in Business List. Lori Pegg is acting county counsel for Santa Clara County. The veteran government lawyer has been a deputy in the county counsel’s office, which has about 60 lawyers. She previously worked for a number of law firms, specializing in labor, education, and government law.


Taryn Hook has a short story included in the literary journal TheWritingDisorder.com Anthology, Volume II. Mark Stone is a Santa Cruz County supervisor, representing the Fifth District, and the vice chair of the California Coastal Commission.


Magda Gonzalez is city manager of East Palo Alto. Previously, she was deputy city manager in Redwood City. She has also been an administrator for Belmont and San Bruno.


Debora Kristensen is on the Ninth Circuit Advisory Board, a group of attorneys that advises on the effective administration of the federal courts in the western United States. She is a partner and business litigator at Givens Pursley in Boise, Idaho. Previously, she served six years as an Idaho lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. Rita Neal is county counsel for San Luis Obispo. She started there as a deputy county counsel, and has also been chief deputy county counsel and assistant county counsel. Previously, Neal was in private practice in San Luis Obispo, specializing in civil litigation.


Judy Jensen is an attorney in Berliner Cohen’s new Modesto office. Her areas of practice include estate planning, probate, trust administration, and employment law. She received an LL.M. in taxation from New York University in 1993. Karyn Smith, former vice president and deputy general counsel at Zynga, was named to the San Francisco Business Times 1012 Bay Area’s Most Influential Women in Business List. She serves on the advisory board of the Northern California Innocence Project at Santa Clara Law.


Andrew Bassack is an officer of the Northern California Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, after serving several years on its board of governors. He is a litigation partner at Manatt Phelps & Phillips in San Francisco. Eric Bellafronto is the office managing shareholder of the Silicon Valley office of Littler Mendelson. He represents employers in a dual role as a litigator and counselor. He does pro bono work for the Catholic Foundation of Santa Clara County and runs his office’s annual holiday charity drive for the Bill Wilson Center. Robert James Higgins B.A. ’80 has been appointed as a judge of Arizona’s Navajo County Superior Court. Previously he was a deputy county attorney. He practiced civil and criminal law in the county for 17 years. Kristen Thall Peters is on the management committee of Cooper, White & Cooper. She is a resident of the firm’s Walnut Creek office. She is chair of the firm’s Green Practices Group, which focuses on green energy, environmental, pipeline, real estate, and land use law. She spearheaded the office’s expansion in 1004 and its certification as a green business in 1009. She served on the board of directors of the Contra Costa County Bar Association, serves on its diversity committee, and is an active member and volunteer for many community and business organizations. Luis Rodriguez B.S. ’89 is vice president of the California State Bar Board of Trustees. He is the first Hispanic vice president elected in the state bar’s history.


Kaela (Kozlovsky) Bernal B.S. ’91 is a legal and special projects associate at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, and serves as an arts commissioner for the city of San Jose. Rian Jorgensen is senior VP and counsel for Ahern Insurance Brokerage in San Francisco. The company specializes in the insurance needs of law firms. He is responsible for launching its In-House Risk Management Program and Services. Lisa Tatum is president-elect of the State Bar of Texas. She practices law in San Antonio, with a practice focused on corporate, education, employment, and public finance law. She also serves as outside and general counsel to a variety of clients. Previously, she was managing associate at West & Associates, an associate with Escamilla & Poneck, and served as a Bexar County assistant criminal district attorney. She served on the state bar’s board of directors and many of its committees. She is a past president and former director of the San Antonio Black Lawyers Association.


Heidi Keefe was named to the Top Women Lawyers list by The Daily Journal. Keefe is a Palo Alto-based IP partner at Cooley. Some of Keefe’s notable clients include Facebook, HTC, Microsoft, eBay, Nike, and LinkedIn. Keefe has played a leading role in the defense of Facebook’s patent litigation cases since 1007, and is co-leading Cooley’s legal team representing Facebook in its patent litigation suits with Yahoo. Yale Kim is a partner at Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis in Los Angeles. Yale focuses on bankruptcy representation of creditors, and litigation with an emphasis on commercial and residential real estate. He serves as lead counsel to financial institution clients in bankruptcy and litigation. Paul Shinn is general counsel at Gigamon, a network security company in Milpitas. Previously, he was associate general counsel of Hewlett Packard’s enterprise group, and held senior legal roles in commercial and corporate, securities and mergers and acquisitions at HP. He also had been senior counsel at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.


Amanda Groves is a partner in the Charlotte, N.C., office of Winston & Strawn. Previously, she was in the firm’s San Francisco office. She has represented consumer-product companies in complex commercial litigation and is noted for resolving statewide and national litigation involving financial institutions’ loan origination transactions and collection practices. Barbara (Hehir) Olsen and her husband, Scott, are parents of a son, Mark Edward, born on June 30, 1011. He joins his brother, William, and sister, Morgan, in San Jose.


Leigh Burnside is an attorney with Dowling Aaron in Fresno. She has received a top “AV Preeminent” rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which evaluates lawyers based on anonymous opinions of members of the bar and judiciary. She is chair of the firm’s trust and estate litigation practice group. Kristin Garcia Dumont works in Goodwin Procter’s litigation department. She focuses on employment disputes involving technology companies.


Catherine Bechtel, a partner at McManis Faulkner, received a 1012 YWCA Tribute to Women and Industry Award, a business leadership award. She leads the family law group at her firm. Peter Verbica works at Merrill Lynch’s Global Management Group in San Jose. He is the proud dad of four talented daughters. Pallie Zambrano is part of the majority female partnership at the McManis firm in San Jose, where she represents family law clients.


John Hernandez is an administrative law judge for the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board in Los Angeles. Sarah Wager is senior counsel at McManis Faulkner. She practices civil litigation with an emphasis on intellectual property, commercial, and business-related disputes.

01 Denis Klavdianos is in his third year at Glassberg, Pollak & Associates, where he works on collection matters. He has prosecuted fraudulent transfer actions and successfully pursued individuals and business entities under the alter ego theory of liability by filing adversary proceedings in bankruptcy court. Julia M. Wei and husband, Ken Leung, welcomed their second son, Jet Leung, in May 1011. Julia continues to practice real estate litigation in Palo Alto, and Ken is a technology executive at an analytics company.
02 Michael Joyce is a partner at Sidley Austin’s Los Angeles office. Joyce focuses his practice on the use of complex and innovative structures to finance projects in the renewable energy field, as well as in fossil fuel and other infrastructure assets. Joyce has assisted clients on transactions in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Recent transactions have focused on renewable energy projects, including solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass. Maria Quintero is a senior attorney at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in San Francisco, handling civil litigation defense and appellate matters. Kimberly Rodriguez and husband have a small business renting margarita machines in the Sacramento area. Michael Smith practices law in Austin, Tex., at F&B, a patent litigation firm. Previously, he was in solo practice and worked for Vinson & Elkins in IP litigation. Carolyn Sprinchorn B.A. ’99 is special counsel at Duane Reade in Chicago. She practices tax law. She earned an LL.M. in taxation from Northwestern University School of Law in 1009.
03 Judith Mohr is a patent attorney with McDermott Will & Emery. Previously, she had been an intellectual property partner in King & Spalding’s Redwood Shores office. She also worked at Perkins Coie.
04 Viva Harris writes a blog on saving money, The Daily Citron, which also features tips on time management, organizing, and parenting. Christine Peek, a partner at McManis, is in the Northern California Super Lawyers 1012 Edition— Rising Stars. Peek has a general civil litigation practice, focusing on constitutional law and lawsuits against government entities. She has experience litigating state and federal constitutional issues in a wide variety of contexts, including business regulation, nuisance, takings, election law, public employment, compassionate use, selective enforcement, illegal search and seizure, and excessive force cases. She is an active member of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, serving on its Appellate Courts Committee. Cristina Rubke has been appointed to the board of directors of San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency. She is of counsel at Shartsis Friese, where her practice focuses on business litigation.
05 Kelly Cowan is an associate attorney with Denver-based defense firm Grund-Dagner. She focuses on professional liability, recreational law, transportation law, and construction litigation. Previously, Cowan worked with Sinunu Bruni in San Francisco, where she focused on product liability/ toxic tort and personalinjury defense, and at Ray Bourhis & Associates, also in San Francisco, where she concentrated on insurancecoverage work. Michael Renzi is director of finance and administration with the School of Comparative Medicine at Stanford University. Previously, he was vice president of administrative services at West Valley College.
06 Peter Castle joined Peak Vista Community Health Centers as manager of business development and partnerships. Castle is the former programs director for the Colorado Business Group on Health. David Tsai was honored for his volunteer work in the LGBT and Asian American communities by the Diversity Committee of the Barristers Club of the Bar Association of San Francisco. Kate Wilson ’97 BSC received the Barrister of the Year award from the Santa Clara County Bar Association. She is an attorney at Berliner Cohen.
07 Alan Khaflin is the managing attorney of Vaksman Law’s office in San Mateo. The firm provides personalized and comprehensive solutions in estate planning and business law.
08 Michele E. Curtis B.S. ’04 and Joseph Harris Jr. were married on July 28, 1012, in Tiburon. The couple resides in San Francisco and St. Helena. Nitin Gambhir is an associate at McDermott Will & Emery. Her practice focuses on patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret litigation. Michael Pittman B.S. ’04 married Alexandra Perazzelli M.A. ’09 on July 9, 1011, in Santa Monica. They live in Long Beach. Niamh (Doherty) Radhakrishnan is a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Labor in Los Angeles. J.T. Service, founder of Soul Focus Sports, organized the San Jose 408K Race to the Row, an 8K run in March. Service got the idea for the race after his company was hired to produce the Giant Race for the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. “There was something about their connection with the people who felt it was their team and their city,” Service said in an article published by the San Jose Mercury News. “About 85 percent of the people running were from San Francisco, and everyone would wear their Giants gear. I felt there needed to be something for San Jose replicating that feel.” The HP Pavilion was chosen for the start and Santana Row for the finish, he said, because they are two of the most prominent landmarks in San Jose. The funds raised will be donated to the Pat Tillman Foundation.
09 Asa Pittman is a housing rights attorney with the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley. She has been working on a well-known case in San Jose, involving a landlord who rented multiple spaces in a house in foreclosure.
10 Lauren Leier married Christopher Mayer on Nov. 6, 1011, in Livermore.
11 Nancy Cheng is a patent litigation associate at Perkins Coie in Palo Alto. She won the 1011 Past Presidents Award from the American Intellectual Property Law Association. Aroma Sharma is the Law and Social Enterprise Fellow at NYU Law School. She works with the Jacobson Program in Law and Business on scholarship and research on entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and innovation. Her focus is on securities law. Michael Toy is an associate at Klein, DeNatale, Goldner, Cooper, Rosenlieb & Kimball. He works in the firm’s business and commercial litigation department.
12 Christina Fialho B.A. ’06 is a 1012 Echoing Green Fellow for Social Change. Echoing Green provides more than $2 million in seed support to social entrepreneurs. With a colleague and Echoing Green’s financial support, she will launch a new project, Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement, or CIVIC. CIVIC is a national network of immigration detention visitation groups, with a mission to end the isolation and abuse of persons in immigration detention by building and strengthening visitation programs.