Board of Directors
LACLJ’s 2016-2017 Board of Directors at our 44th Anniversary Awards Gala
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
President of the Board of Directors
The Capital Group Companies
Vice President of the Board of Directors
Peter A. Salomon
Salomon Forensics, LLP
Treasurer of the Board of Directors
Latham & Watkins LLP
Secretary of the Board of Directors
Members At Large
Hueston Hennigan LLP
Morrison & Forester LLP
Alston & Bird
Blecher Collins & Pepperman, P.C.
Jaime B. Guerrero
Foley & Lardner LLP
Pacific Western Bank
Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Jodi E. Lopez
Sidley Austin LLP
Melanie D. Mandles
Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles, P.C.
Todd A. Maron
Tesla Motors, Inc.
City National Bank
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
Nathan Associates, Inc.
Jaffe and Clemens
Eric D. Vandevelde
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Gursey Schneider, LLP
Berkeley Research Group
Jennifer L. Brockett – President of the Board of Directors
Jennifer L. Brockett is a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. Jennifer practices in business torts and intellectual property litigation. She has a depth of experience in trade secret litigation and counseling, and is one of the primary drafters of the CACI Model Jury Instructions regarding trade secrets, required for use in all trade secret matters tried in California. She received her A.B. in Economics from Occidental College and her J.D. from UCLA School of Law.
Nelson N. Lee – Vice President of the Board of Directors
Nelson N. Lee is a Vice President and Associate Counsel for Capital Guardian Trust Company and Capital International, Inc., which are part of The Capital Group Companies. He focuses on investment management and regulatory matters. Prior to joining the organization in 2002, he was an associate with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom where he practiced general corporate law, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. Mr. Lee graduated from University of California, Berkeley and received his J.D. from UCLA School of Law.
Peter Salomon – Treasurer of the Board of Directors
Peter Salomon is the Managing Partner of Salomon Forensics, LLP. With over 35 years of professional accounting experience, Mr. Salomon provides accounting and auditing experience to attorneys in litigation, and specializes in determining damages and performing investigations of accounting irregularities. Mr. Salomon has provided expert testimony in Federal and State Courts on many occasions. Mr. Salomon has appeared before the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on several occasions related to alleged fraudulent financial reporting. Mr. Salomon is the Secretary of the Steering Committee and a former Chairman of the Fraud Section for the California Society of CPAs. Mr. Salomon received his Bachelor’s of Science from Bentley College and is a licensed certified public accountant in California and in New York.
Kimberly Posin – Secretary of the Board of Directors
Kimberly Posin is partner at Latham & Watkins and is a member of the Finance Department and Insolvency Practice Group. Ms. Posin specializes in representing corporate debtors and secured lenders in all aspects of bankruptcy proceedings, but she has also represented Unsecured Creditors Committees and equity holders. Ms. Posin previously served a two year term on the firm’s Associates Committee and is presently co-managing the firm’s bankruptcy training program. Ms. Posin is a member of the Financial Lawyers Conference, the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Business Law Section of the California State Bar Association. Ms. Posin received her Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Southern California and her law degree from Berkeley School of Law.
Courtney Black is Of Counsel to Hueston Hennigan LLP and serves as the firm’s Pro Bono Coordinator. Ms. Black is an experienced trial lawyer who has served as lead or co-lead counsel in numerous civil and criminal cases in the federal and state courts of California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois. Ms. Black maintains an active and varied pro bono practice, which has included juvenile immigration asylum cases, section 1983 civil rights litigation, children’s rights claims, and other matters. She also volunteered extensively with the U.S. District Court pro se clinic in Los Angeles, for which she was recognized by the judges of the Central District of California. As the firm’s Pro Bono Coordinator, Ms. Black supervises and supports Hueston Hennigan’s pro bono advocacy, serves as the firm’s primary point of contact with legal services organizations, and carries an active caseload of pro bono matters as counsel of record. Ms. Black received her Bachelor’s of Arts from Virginia Tech and her law degree from Brooklyn School of Law.
Matt Cave is a litigation associate at Morrison & Foerster in Los Angeles. He focuses on defending companies against class-action lawsuits and high-stakes securities litigation. Prior to joining Morrison & Foerster, he was an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, as well as a law clerk to the Honorable Alicemarie H. Stotler and Honorable James V. Selna, both U.S. District Judges for the Central District of California. Mr. Cave graduated from the University of Michigan and received his J.D. from the USC Gould School of Law.
Cristyn is a senior associate at Alston & Bird LLP and a member of the firm’s Litigation and Trial Practice Group. She focuses her practice on insurance defense, product liability, financial services, negligent tort defense, false advertising, and consumer class action litigation. Cristyn has also assisted clients with civil and regulatory environmental and entertainment media matters. With extensive experience in both state and federal courts, her international clients span a range of diverse industries and include Fortune 500 companies. She is also an active member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. Prior to joining Alston & Bird, Cristyn was an associate at Reed Smith, LLP. Cristyn received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from USC Gould School of Law.
Jennifer Elkayam is an associate at Blecher & Collins. Since joining the firm in 2005 she has worked on complex litigation matters focusing on antitrust, class action and professional liability cases. Ms. Elkayam has represented a major Los Angeles vending machine company in its claims of price discrimination and unfair competition. She also represented a class of California auto body shops against national insurance companies alleging a conspiracy to unlawfully fix auto repair labor rates in violation of California’s unfair competition laws. Ms. Elkayam received her undergraduate degree cum laude from the University of California, Santa Barbara and received her J.D. from Southwestern Law School.
Jaime Guerrero is a partner at Foley & Lardner LLP and a member of the firm’s Securities Litigation & White Collar Practice. Mr. Guerrero focuses in the areas of government enforcement actions, white collar criminal defense, accounting litigation, securities litigation, and partnership disputes. Mr. Guerrero is well-versed in accounting issues in light of his prior experience as a public accountant with Deloitte & Touche LLP before entering law school. Prior to joining Foley, Mr. Guerrero was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, where he investigated and tried before juries different types of federal criminal cases. Mr. Guerrero served as a law clerk for the Honorable Robert J. Kelleher, United States District Judge for the Central District of California, in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Guerrero earned his J.D. from UCLA School of Law and his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, Haas Undergraduate School of Business.
Holly Hayes is General Counsel of Pacific Western Bank, holding the title of Senior Vice President. Prior to joining Pacific Western Bank, Holly was a partner in the firm of Ivanjack, Shuck & Milstead, LLP (formerly Ivanjack & Lambirth, LLP) and an associate with Arter & Hadden, LLP. While at Arter, Holly served on the Board of Directors of the California Minority Counsel Program. She is currently a member of the Bank Operations Counsel Association. Holly received her J.D. from Loyola Law School and her undergraduate degree from Mills College.
Brian Hershman is a partner at Jones Day focusing on civil litigation and white-collar criminal defense in state and federal courts. He has experience handling witnesses and defendants in state and federal criminal proceedings and has represented numerous clients in all aspects of complex civil litigation. Prior to joining Jones Day, Brian was an Assistant U.S. attorney for the Central District of California of Los Angeles, where he was the deputy chief of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights section and deputy chief of the Public Corruption and Government Frauds section. As a federal prosecutor, Brian maintained an unblemished trial record, obtaining guilty verdicts against all defendants in all matters that proceeded to trial. He successfully prosecuted cases involving health care fraud, defense procurement fraud, telemarketing fraud, mail and wire fraud, tax fraud, and corruption by government officials, among other crimes. Mr. Hershman received his undergraduate degree summa cum laude from the University of California at Berkeley. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School where he was the recipient of the Potter Steward Prize and Harlan Fiske Stone Prize.
Randall L. Jackson
Randall Jackson is a partner at Kendall Brill & Kelly LLP. Since joining the firm, his practice has focused on media, entertainment, and intellectual property litigation matters. Prior to his arrival at Kendall Brill & Kelly, he worked as an associate at Irell & Manella LLP and as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson, Central District of California. He earned his undergraduate degree summa cum laude from UCLA in 2003 and his law degree from Harvard Law School in 2006.
Eric Kennedy is a Shareholder at Buchalter Nemer and the Chair of the firm’s Automotive Industry group. His practice focuses on all aspects of commercial litigation with an emphasis on class action defense and disputes involving contracts, securities fraud, unfair competition, real estate, fiduciary relationships, false advertising, trade secrets, trademark and copyright infringement, and employment issues. Eric has substantial experience in both state and federal court and has tried cases on both coasts. Among his notable victories, Eric successfully defended a large, California-based oil company in a class action seeking massive statutory damages for its practice of requesting zip codes as identification for customers purchasing gas at the pump. Eric earned his J.D. at the University of Southern California and received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University, Provo UT.
Jodi E. Lopez
Jodi Lopez’s practice has focused on complex civil litigation with an emphasis on financial litigation in the fields of securities and professional liability, including class actions brought by shareholders, suits brought by liquidating trustees, and derivative suits. In recent years, Ms. Lopez has handled class actions and SEC investigations arising out of a broad range of industries, including financial institutions and mortgage lenders, computer hardware and software, and medical equipment. In 2010, Ms. Lopez participated in the International Association of Defense Counsel’s trial academy, which is one of the oldest and most well respected programs for developing defense trial advocacy skills. Ms. Lopez also has an active pro bono practice and serves on the Los Angeles office’s Pro Bono Committee.
Melanie D. Mandles
Melanie is a partner at Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles, a Los Angeles law firm which exclusively practices family law. Melanie has been with the Wasser firm since she was admitted to the California bar in 1997. Melanie’s practice is devoted to providing clients throughout Southern California with exceptional legal services in all aspects of family law, including marital property characterization, valuation, and division; spousal and child support; child custody cases; paternity matters; and negotiating prenuptial, postnuptial, and marital settlement agreements. In recognition of her work, Melanie was named a Southern California “Rising Star” from 2005-2011, a Southern California “Super Lawyer” from 2012 to the present, and has been included in the “Best Lawyers in America” since 2013. She has been on the Executive Committee of the Beverly Hills Bar Association since 2011, and has spoken before the bar on topics such as spousal support and fiduciary duties. Melanie has also served as a committee member and a pro bono attorney for the Alliance for Children’s Rights. Melanie earned her undergraduate degree from UCLA in 1994 and her law degree from Southwestern University School of Law in 1997.
Todd A. Maron
Todd A. Maron serves as General Counsel at Tesla Motors, Inc. Prior to joining Tesla, Todd was an associate at Jaffe and Clemens, where he practiced family law since 2006. His practice was devoted to a wide range of complex family law issues, including spousal support, child support, high-conflict child custody cases, and a host of complicated issues involving the valuation and division of property. Todd published an article for the Daily Journal, entitled “What Divorce Lawyers Can Learn From Baseball Arbitration,” in which he discussed sophisticated settlement strategies in particularly difficult family law disputes. Prior to joining Jaffe and Clemens, Todd was an associate at Irell & Manella, where he handled a variety of commercial litigation matters, ranging from intellectual property litigation to securities litigation and a number of other commercial disputes. Todd received his B.A. with honors from the University of Michigan and earned his law degree from the New York University School of Law.
Ariel A. Neuman
Ariel A. Neuman is a principal at the litigation boutique of Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks, Lincenberg, and Rhow, PC. He is a trial lawyer who handles high-stakes business disputes and white collar criminal matters. A former federal prosecutor, Mr. Neuman represents both individual and corporate clients confronting government investigations and other bet-the-company matters that have civil and criminal components. He regularly advises clients being investigated or prosecuted for securities fraud, False Claims Act violations, health care fraud, money laundering, tariff violations, tax crimes, and other offenses. He also routinely represents companies, corporate executives and directors, and business owners in their complex civil disputes. Every winter, Mr. Neuman serves as a visiting faculty member at Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop. He received his J.D. from Harvard and his B.A. from Columbia University.
Dawn Sestito is a partner in O’Melveny’s Los Angeles office and member of the Business Trial and Litigation Practice. Dawn has experience in trials and administrative hearings, arbitrations, mediations, and all phases of business litigation. Her practice focuses on commercial litigation, including litigation involving energy and the environment, natural resources, unfair business practices, employment issues, and contract disputes. She is a double graduate of U.C. Berkeley.
Chen Song is an economist, a CFA charter holder, and an expert witness. Since receiving her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago, she has provided consulting services and expert testimony in class action discrimination disputes and class action wage and hour disputes. Chen Song leads Nathan Associates’ west coast expansion in both the labor employment practice and the financial litigation practice.
Robert Stanley is a partner at Jaffe and Clemens, a prominent family law firm in Beverly Hills, where he focuses on the resolution of complex family law matters. His resourcefulness and deep knowledge of the law have ensured strong representation for a wide range of clients, from famous entertainers and major corporate executives to start-up entrepreneurs and stay-at-home parents. Prior to joining Jaffe and Clemens, was a civil litigator at the most prestigious family law firm in Atlanta, Georgia, where he litigated in complex domestic matters involving significant estates. The Southern California Super Lawyers has recognized Robert in its “Rising Star” top young attorneys list for 2009, 2010 and 2011. Robert is an authority on the subject of same-sex marriage, having authored a new chapter in the 2014 edition of “California Domestic Partnerships and Same-Sex Marriage’, published by California Continuing Education of the Bar. Robert earned his undergraduate degree from University of Florida in 1993, and his law degree from the University of Mississippi Law School in 1996.
Eric D. Vandevelde
Eric Vandevelde is Partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, where his practice focuses on white collar defense and government investigations, as well as cybersecurity and data privacy matters. He is a former Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California, where he served as Deputy Chief of the Cyber & Intellectual Property Crimes Section. Mr. Vandevelde is an experienced trial and appellate attorney, and has extensive experience in computer technology and cybersecurity, having obtained a degree in Computer Science from Stanford University and worked as a software engineer in Silicon Valley and Latin America for several years. Mr. Vandevelde graduated from UCLA School of Law, where he was elected Order of the Coif. After law school, Mr. Vandevelde clerked for the Honorable A. Howard Matz, United States District Judge.
A partner at Gursey | Schneider LLP, Bob Watts specializes in litigation support relating to financial issues. He has been involved in innumerable family law matters, and his experience encompasses a wide range of family law accounting issues. He has qualified as an expert witness in the California Superior Courts in both family law and civil litigation matters, and has also been appointed as the court’s expert under Evidence code section 730.
Bob is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, California Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Litigation Section of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants Family Law Section. He is currently in the process of completing his accreditation with the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) in becoming an Accredited Senior Appraiser. Bob graduated from California State University, Long Beach in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Accounting.
Jennifer E. Ziegler, CPA, specializes in providing accounting expertise in forensic accounting, litigation support, expert witness testimony, and fraud investigations. She is experienced in consulting with clients and counsel in regard to complex business disputes involving the investigation, evaluation, and quantification of economic damages.
Ms. Ziegler has over 20 years of accounting experience in a wide range of industries including insurance, healthcare providers, pharmaceuticals, startups, not-for-profits, government agencies, oil and gas, and homeowners’ associations. Her experience encompasses a diverse range of litigation matters including probate and estate disputes, shareholder and partnership disputes, post-acquisition claims, business interruption, accounting professional standards, royalty disputes, and fraud investigations. Ms. Ziegler is current president of the of the California Society of CPAs. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration and Accounting from California State University Northridge.