Whether you are an individual or business seeking help with a legal issue, an attorney needing assistance with litigation or an appeal on a project or part-time basis, or in need of a cost-effective mediator to assist in settling a dispute, I am available to help you.
I have over 25 years experience practicing before state and federal trial and appellate courts and administrative tribunals, with emphasis on civil litigation in the representation of health care and other professionals before state licensing boards; first party and third party insurance defense (life, health, disability, and errors and omissions); business litigation (contract disputes, wrongful termination, unfair competition and qui tam), personal injury, and family law.
A native Californian from the San Gabriel Valley, I was raised with a working class ethic and a belief in equal opportunity for all. I am a proud product of the California public school system. Spending my teenage summers working in a hot, dusty warehouse filling book orders for stores and libraries provided me with two tangible benefits: (a) it indulged my love of reading; and (b) it opened my eyes to the limitations of a high school education.
After two years of general and paralegal studies at Pasadena City College (where I was a member of the softball team and performed volunteer work for Legal Aid of Pasadena), I took a clerical job in the administrative branch of the Los Angeles County Department of Social Services, in the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) department. There, I witnessed bureaucratic processes in action. While I was impressed by the dedication and hard work of well-meaning public administrators, I was also struck by the seemingly endless maze of policies and procedures which governed the provision of public assistance, and believed that there had to be a better way.
Continuing to work my way through college, I attended California State University Los Angeles and obtained a paralegal certificate. Several of my professors advised me to consider law school, but I never seriously considered it until I landed a position as a legal secretary/paralegal in the patent and trademark field. After obtaining hands-on experience working with attorneys, I realized, “I can do that.” I returned to Cal State LA, graduating magna cum laude in 1988, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, with an emphasis in public administration. From there, I was accepted to the UCLA School of Law, where I served as an editor of the UCLA Law Review and obtained my Juris Doctorate in 1991.
While at UCLA, I obtained invaluable experience through two externships. The first externship was with Justice Sheila Prell Sonenshine of the 4th District of the California Court of Appeal. Justice Sonenshine taught me the art of writing thoughtful and comprehensive legal analysis. The second externship, with the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office, gave me a first-hand view of the inner workings of municipal government and a peak at criminal prosecution processes.
After graduating from law school, I decided that the “big firm” experience was not for me. I looked for opportunities for immediate and significant responsibility. After practicing environmental personal injury law, and family law with two small firms, for the past 19 years, my practice has focused on civil litigation, administrative, and appellate practice, particularly in the areas of professional licensing; professional misconduct; first party and third party insurance defense (life, health, disability, and errors and omissions); and business litigation (contract disputes, wrongful termination, unfair competition and qui tam).
My appellate advocacy has resulted in several published opinions, including Dickens v. Provident Life & Accident Ins. Co., 117 Cal. App. 4th 705 (2004); Wady v. Provident Life and Accident Ins. Co., 216 F. Supp. 2d 1060 (C.D. Cal. 2002); Soltani v. Western & Southern Life Ins. Co., 258 F.3d 1038 (9th Cir. 2001); Cardiner v. Provident Life and Accident Ins. Co., 158 F. Supp. 2d 1088 (C.D. Cal. 2001); Potvin v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 22 Cal. 4th 1060 (2000); and Simon v. Value Behavioral Health, Inc., 955 F. Supp. 93 (C.D. Cal. 1997), aff’d, 208 F.3d 1073 (9th Cir. 2000).
I have been a member of the State Bar of California since 1991. I am admitted to practice before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the Central, Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts of California. I am a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and formerly served as an active member of the Barristers’ Sports Committee. I am also a member of the Women Lawyer’s Association of Los Angeles and have played softball in the Landau Lawyers League for many years.
I believe in the importance of public service. To that end, I volunteered as a Voluntary Settlement Conference Officer for the Los Angeles Superior Court from September 2009 until the program ceased in May 2013. I have also served as a volunteer for the LACBA’s Domestic Violence Project, assisting low income persons in obtaining restraining orders.
Outside of the office, I enjoy participating in and watching sports of all kinds. I am a die-hard Dodger fan, and, despite attending UCLA, am a long-time avid USC Trojan football fan. I also enjoy reading, listening to the blues, and classic movies.