Bison News and Spotlight

Southwestern was one of the first law schools in the country to encourage the enrollment of women and minorities when it was established more than 100 years ago. As a result, from the very first graduate, Southwestern-trained lawyers quickly became trailblazers in the profession and the greater community—from the courthouse to the Mayor’s office.

Today, Southwestern alumni live and work throughout the United States and 26 foreign countries.  They include leaders in local and national elected offices, founders of major and boutique law firms, general counsels of multinational corporations, and top public interest lawyers. They have served in such diverse positions as general counsel of Lionsgate Entertainment, president of the Mormon Church, members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the Los Angeles County District Attorney, CEO of the American Red Cross, and California State Treasurer.

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June 2023

Patricia Brum ’13 of Snell & Wilmer was selected for inclusion in the 2023 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars publication. She was also listed in the Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2023 Women of Influence – Attorneys.

Jahmy S. Graham ’14 of Nelson Mullins was selected for inclusion in the 2023 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars publication.

Brian J. Panish ’84 was inducted with three others into the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Hall of Fame on June 12.

Sharis Rostamlou ’22 joined Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman as an associate in its Glendale Office.

Camille M. Vasquez ’10 of Brown Rudnick was selected for inclusion in the 2023 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars publication. Vasquez was also named one of the Daily Journal’s “Top Women Lawyers” in California.

May 2023

David Downing ’11 was promoted to partner at Pearlman, Brown & Wax’s Los Angeles office. Downing specializes in the defense of complex workers' compensation matters.

Julee Fritsch Earley ’05 was promoted to partner at Tyson & Mendes’ Los Angeles office. She practices catastrophic personal injury.

Andrew J. Kramer ’91 joined Willkie Farr & Gallagher as a partner in the firm's Los Angeles office. Kramer will chair the firm’s motion picture, television, and entertainment finance practice group. He was most recently a partner at Loeb & Loeb.

Sonal B. Majmudar ’01 joins Mayer Brown as a partner in its Washington, D.C. office. Majmudar was most recently an international tax counsel with the Internal Revenue Service.

Claire M. McCall ’23, past Chair of the Moot Court Board of Governors, will serve as a law clerk to Judge Dean Pregerson of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Asantewa Olatunji ’75 was appointed by Mayor Karen Bass to the L.A. Cultural Affairs Commission.

Linda D. Tolbert ’96 was named Executive Medical Director for Washington Permanente Medical Group in Seattle. Dr. Tolbert will lead 1,300 clinicians to care for more than 600,000 Kaiser Permanente members. She will be the first Black woman to serve in this position. Dr. Tolbert joined Kaiser Permanente in 1993.

A. Marco Turk ’60 published his book Bridging the Cyprus DivideReflections of An Accidental Peacebuilder. He is an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University’s Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution.

Edward M. Wolkowitz ’75 received the Culver City Chamber of Commerce’s Legacy of Service Award.

April 2023

Gesine Bullock-Prado ’96 published her new book, My Vermont Table: Recipes for All (Six) Seasons.

Kira N. Teshima Conlon ’12 launched an all-BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) led law firm called the SOMOS Group providing legal advocacy and support in real estate, land use, and environmental law. Conlon has prioritized increasing diversity in the legal field through mentorship at this new firm.

Lakeesha T. Jemerson ’07 was promoted to Managing Attorney of The Hartford insurance company's Orange County Workers' Compensation in-house firm. The office handles workers' comp defense cases in Orange County, Northern California, San Diego, the Inland Empire, and Long Beach.

Laurie K. Jones ’95 joined U.S. Banks as senior corporate counsel.

Kathy Khommarath ’12 joined the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) as a Supervising Development Manager in February.

The Hon. William J. McGovern, III ’79 retired as a superior court judge in New Jersey after 19 years of service in criminal, civil, and family courts. He is honored to continue to serve in a senior judge capacity.

Orlando N. Ortega-Medina ’91 published a legal thriller, The Fitful Sleep of Immigrants, and concluded a successful book tour in the United States last spring. Ortega-Medina is the founder of an immigration law firm based in London.

Laurel Loomis Rimon ’93 joined Jenner & Block LLP as a partner in its Washington, DC office. Rimon specializes in FinTech and crypto assets practice.

Tara J. Sattler ’11 has been named to Variety’s 2023 Legal Impact Report as part of the Firm’s Audio Team. Variety spotlights the world’s top lawyers in entertainment and media in the Annual Report, highlighting their groundbreaking work in film, television, audio, and digital formats. Sattler was also recently selected to the 2023 Southern California Rising Stars list. She is a Shareholder at Weintraub Tobin and is an Entertainment and Media Group member.

Jason A. Savlov ’01 was promoted to partner at Adams Stirling PLC, in charge of litigation.

Class Notes Archive

  1. March 2023

    Monica C. Mazzei ’02, joined Buchalter as shareholder and chair of the newly launched law practice group in the firm’s San Francisco office.

    Alison N. Kleaver Jordan ’07, and her husband Jonathan, welcomed son James Atlas in April 2022.

    Anh Nguyen Stenzel ’07 was named one of Top 10 Industry Disruptors by LA Weekly.

    Alexa M. Whiteside ’17 joined Hearst Media Production Group as vice president of business affairs.

  2. February 2023

    Robert C. Brandt ’76 was awarded The Spencer Brandeis Award for 2022 by The Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section. The award is given to someone who has made a significant impact in the field of Family Law. It is not given every year.

    Vicki M. Roberts ’83 received an esteemed "Honorable Mention" on February 1, 2023 for her original poem, Antietam, in the 2022 Society of Classical Poets International Poetry Competition. The annual competition is for poets around the world who write metered poetry in the classical style, usually with rhyme.

    Michele B. Anderson ’90 was named a trustee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Her term starts July 1.

    Jeffrey K. Joyner ’95 joined Glaser Weil as a partner in the firm’s Century City office practicing intellectual property.

    Joseph Ho Jin Kang ’97 was appointed to serve as a judge in the Orange County Superior Court. Kang was most recently a deputy public defender in Los Angeles.

    Simon R. Umscheid ’99 was promoted from Chief Deputy District Attorney to Assistant District Attorney in the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

    Daniel A. Cooper ’07 celebrated the one- year anniversary of opening his law firm Cooper & Huber LLP.

    Peter J. Woo ’09 was appointed as Board Chairperson and President of the Asian American Insurance Network (AAIN). Woo is the office litigation manager in the Riverside office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and a principal in the Irvine office. He represents public and private employers in labor and employment law matters.

    Charles K. Chineduh ’10 joined Maynard, Cooper & Gale, LLP as partner in the firm’s Century City office. Chineduh was previously a partner at Meserve, Mumper & Hughes, LLP.

    Joshua H. Eichenstein ’13 won a case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in an opinion issued for publication, "HayDay Farms, Inc., et al v. FeeDx Holdings, Inc." Eichenstein was nominated by Super Lawyers Rising Stars for Intellectual Property Litigation in 2023, for the 7th consecutive year in a row.

    April M. Zonnis ’13 was promoted to partner at Summers Levine & Kretzmer, LLP.

    Nicholas E. Mitchell ’14 was promoted to Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer at Logix Federal Credit Union, a $9.6 billion financial institution headquartered in Southern California.

  3. January 2023

    Gerry E. Agnew, Jr. '74 joined Judicate West in its Los Angeles office.

    Geraldine Wong-Williams ’05 was appointed as a San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge.

    Reagan E. Boyce ’06 was named partner at Chamblee Ryan P.C. in Dallas, Texas.

    Justin Mikita ’10, husband Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and son Becket Mercer welcomed Sullivan Louis Ferguson-Mikita, born in November through a surrogate.

    Camille M. Vasquez '10 joined NBC as a legal analyst. Vasquez is a partner at Brown Rudnick LLP.

    Benjamin C. Lau ’11 was elevated to principal at Jackson Lewis P.C. in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

    Manny S. Mukkar ’11 was named partner at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP in Toronto, Canada. Mukkar is a member of the firm’s real estate and development group.

    Michael B. Gelfound ’13 joined Freeman Mathis & Gary LLP as partner in its Los Angeles location. Gelfound was most recently with Selman Breitman LLP.

    Mark C. Humphrey ’13 was promoted as partner at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP. He is a member of the firm’s litigation group.

    Max N. Wellman '13 was elected partner at Venable LLP in its Century City location.

    Mindy Bae Kulikov ’14 was promoted as partner at Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman LLP in the firm’s Los Angeles office focusing on professional liability and commercial litigation.

    Nathan B. Eprem ’22 joined the litigation section of GrayRobinson in Melbourne, Florida.

  4. December 2022

    Jeffrey R. Erickson ’88, was appointed to serve as judge in the San Bernardino County Superior Court. Erickson was most recently a partner at Raynes Erickson since 2012.

    Patricia D. Cafferata ’89, was elected to the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Board of Directors.

    Edwin P. Chau ’92, was appointed as a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Chau was most recently an assemblyman representing the 49th district of California.

    Celeste V. Thomasson ’93, was appointed as chief audit and risk officer of Renault Group in France.

    Jillian R. Weinstein ’09, was elected partner at O’Melveny & Myers LPP. Weinstein serves as the firm’s Assistant General Counsel, and the firm’s public safety officer.

    Patricia Brum ’13, was selected for inclusion in LA Times Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Magazine for exhibiting achievements both within their organizations and in the community at large through actionable programs and initiatives impacting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility. Brum is a partner at Snell Wilmer and is a strong advocate for the LGBTQ community.

    Whitney Nonnette Perry ’13, joined Reed Smith as counsel to their labor and employment practice.

    Lucy A. Vartanian ’13, was named partner at Hahn & Hahn. Vartanian is a member of the firm’s family law practice group since 2019.