2019 - 2020 Executive Officers & Governing Board Members 

PRESIDENT

Christina Yang is General Counsel & Pro Bono Director for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA.  As General 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.  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 to expand the reach of the organization’s work. Yang also focuses on strengthening relationships between Advancing Justice - LA and key pro bono stakeholders like private attorneys, law firms, corporations, bar associations, and law schools. 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.  Yang has served on the APABA board for nearly ten years, and spent most of those years as Co-Chair of its Public Appointments and Judicial Endorsements committee.  She is also a member of the Pro Bono Coordinating Committee for the State Bar's California Commission on Access to Justice, as well as the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Access to Justice Committee. Yang is a graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Law, and received her undergraduate degree summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.

PRESIDENT-ELECT

Arnold Lee is a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Pasadena.  Previously, he waslitigation 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.

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

Derek Ishikawa is an attorney at Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP, representing and counseling employers in all areas of labor and employment law, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, as well as trade secret, wage-and-hour, breach of contract and employment-related tort claims. Derek also conducts workplace and student misconduct investigations, and regularly speaks and provides training on proper investigation techniques.  Derek has represented employers from a wide variety of industries, including hospitality, food and beverage, banking and finance, retail, higher education and information technology, and before administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. He also regularly counsel colleges and universities on employment matters, as well as student affairs, privacy, risk-management, and other compliance issues, including Title IX. Derek graduated from Pomona College, and obtained his JD/MPP from the University of California, Los Angeles, 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.  Previously, he was a litigation association at Loeb & Loeb LLP. Derek serves as MCLE co-chair, is currently is a member of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession’s Social Impact Incubator, and is part of the 2019 NAPABA Leadership Advancement Program.  

TREASURER

Erica Yen is Senior Legal Counsel at KARL STORZ Endoscopy-America, Inc. Prior to KARL STORZ, Erica was an associate at Reed Smith LLP where her practice focused on defending companies in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and healthcare industries against complex litigation. 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. She is a former Co-Chair of the Mass Torts & Class Actions Committee for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and a former concertmaster of the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic.

SECRETARY

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, civil RICO, writs and appeals, and declaratory relief actions regarding coverage.  Previously, he worked at Aguilera Law Group representing a Fortune 100 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.  He regularly volunteers at the Monterey Park Legal Clinic and co-chairs the Community Service and Outreach Committee. 

BOARD OF GOVERNORS

Eugene Chao is a corporate associate in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.  In 2019, he completed a secondment with an overseas multinational corporation.  Mr. Chao has experience in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, technology outsourcing transactions, and finance matters.  Mr. Chao also maintains an active pro bono practice supporting both nonprofit organizations and individuals in immigration matters, as well as various legal clinics.  In 2019, Mr. Chao was named Volunteer of the Year by both Asian Americans Advancing Justice and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

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.

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 Hoeschler is a 2L at Loyola Law School.  She has actively volunteered with APABA, JABA, and SCCLA. She is a board member of Loyola’s APALSA and DSBA.

Joon Hur is Senior Counsel at Loeb & Loeb LLP.  He maintains a broad transactional practice, regularly advising private and public companies, investment funds, sponsors and financial institutions in a variety of corporate, securities and finance matters. Joon has significant experience representing clients in connection with debt and equity financings, strategic investments, joint ventures, private and public securities offerings, divestitures, mergers, acquisitions, liability management transactions and other corporate and business matters. Clients also turn to Joon for advice on securities laws, SEC reporting, corporate governance, state corporate/LLC/partnership laws and general organizational matters.  He will be President-Elect of the Korean American Bar Association of Southern California in 2020.

Roger Hsieh is an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) in the Major Frauds Section at the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.  As an AUSA, Roger investigates and prosecutes cases involving white-collar crime such as health care fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, and extortion through trial and appeal.  At the United States Attorney’s Office, Roger serves as an Asian Pacific Special Emphasis Project Manager.  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 served as Co-Chair of the Asian American lawyers’ group and 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 B.A. from Northwestern University and 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. 

Travis Kaya is an associate in Venable's Real Estate Practice in Los Angeles. He assists individual and corporate clients in connection with a wide range of real estate transactions.  He is a graduate of Loyola Law School.

Kathy Khommarath is a Staff Attorney and Program Manager for Southwestern Law School’s Pro Bono Removal Defense Program, in partnership with the Loyola Law School Immigrant Justice Clinic though the Removal Defense Corps. She is also an Adjunct Professor for Southwestern’s Removal Defense Clinic. Kathy practices immigration law and immigrants’ rights. She has represented clients before US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Immigration Court, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. Before working at Southwestern, Kathy was a Staff Attorney at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA). Kathy is currently on the boards of the APA Women Lawyer’s Alliance (APAWLA) and Los Angeles Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG-LA). Kathy obtained her J.D. at Southwestern Law School, where she served as President of the Public Interest Law Committee, raising nearly $15,000 towards grants for students to use their legal skills to serve indigent and low-income communities. As a student, Kathy was also active in Southwestern’s APALSA and NLG chapter. During law school, Kathy was a law clerk in the Impact Litigation Unit of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles. She served as a judicial extern for U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero. Prior to Law School, Kathy was the community organizer for API Equality-LA and earned her B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Asian and Pacific Studies from Loyola Marymount University. 

Stacy Kwon is a 3L at UCLA School of Law and an APABA Student Representative.  She is a senior editor on the UCLA Law Review and a Moot Court Honors Executive Board member.  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.  In summer 2018, Stacy was a Business & Legal Affairs intern at Marvel Studios.  In spring 2019, she was a judicial extern to the Honorable Michael W. Fitzgerald.  In summer 2019, Stacy was a litigation summer associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP.  Upon graduation, she will serve as a term law clerk to a federal judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.  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.

Anthony Lai is an associate attorney at the Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer, the largest family law firm in the San Gabriel Valley. Anthony has extensive experience in divorce, paternity, child custody and visitation, spousal and child support matters, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and domestic violence restraining orders. He has worked exclusively in the area of family law for over five years, with significant courtroom exposure and has gained tools for efficient and amicable resolution of contentious family law proceedings. Anthony is active in his community in providing free pro bono legal services for immigrant and low-income communities at Asian Pacific American Bar Association and Southern California Chinese Lawyers' Association Legal Aid Clinics. He also Volunteers at St. Francis Center with the Loyola Law School Board of Governors in feeding homeless in Downtown Los Angeles.  

Jade Leung is an Employee Relations Senior Manager at The Walt Disney Company. She previously served as Senior Corporate and Employment Counsel at Entertainment Partners, providing 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.  

  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 ofNew 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.

Grace Pak is an associate attorney at BRIANA KIM, PC. Her practice focuses on Wage and Hour Class Action practice and wrongful termination. She 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 K. Panchapakesan is a partner at Bird Marella P.C.  His practice focuses on the litigation of complex business disputes, including commercial fraud, breach of contract, unfair business practices, and class action matters. Gopi has successfully tried, mediated, and settled numerous cases. Gopi has represented companies and individuals across a wide variety of industries, including retail, healthcare, software, biomedical, real estate, and consumer products.  Gopi has particular experience defending companies and individuals in quasi-criminal actions, including cases brought under the federal civil RICO statute.  He has been named a “Southern California Rising Star” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Gopi currently serves as the co-President-Elect of the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California, and also serves on the board of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League. Prior to joining Bird Marella, Gopi practiced litigation at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.  He is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Patricia Park is a staff attorney of the Survivor and Family Empowerment (SAFE) Project at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles, where her practice primarily focuses on serving domestic violence survivors obtain family law relief, including domestic violence restraining orders and custody orders.  Patricia has volunteered at APABA's Elder Law Day events since 2015.  Patricia obtained her J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law, and her bachelor's degree from KyungHee University.

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 Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA (formerly known as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center).  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.

Alexander Su is an associate at LimNexus LLP, where he focuses on cross-border commercial litigation and government enforcement matters. He assists a wide range of clients with their disputes, handling all phases from pre-litigation to trial to appeals. As he builds his transnational practice, Alex uses an interdisciplinary and international perspective to strategically assess clients’ challenges, zoom in on the most pressing concerns, and deliver tailored solutions.  His previous work experiences include the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Major Crimes Division, San Francisco trial firm Minami Tamaki LLP, and the Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law School.  Alex is also a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, where he has served as an NGO Observer to the Military Commissions proceedings in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, against the defendants accused of planning the September 11th terrorist attacks.  Prior to law school, Alex served as a Fulbright Fellow in South Korea. He is a graduate of Pomona College and the University of Michigan Law School.  In law school, Alex advised startups as an Advanced Student-Attorney with a newly formed Entrepreneurship Clinic and helped run a provisional journal that attained permanent status.

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.

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.

Elizabeth Yang is the founder of the Law and Mediation Offices of Elizabeth Yang, and specializes in Intellectual Property Law, including Patent, Copyright and Trademark Prosecution and Litigation; Business Law, including corporate entity formation, contract drafting, contract disputes, litigation; Family Law, including divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, and asset division; and Traffic Citations. At the age of 19, she earned her Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley in two and a half years. Her IP practice is primarily focused on Intellectual Property litigation at the Federal District and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Elizabeth's practice also includes complex business litigation, patent prosecution and trademark prosecution. Prior to starting her own practice, Elizabeth gained extensive experience at various international intellectual property law firms where her practice primarily focused on a variety of technologies, including electronics, hardware, software, variable data printers, fingerprinting sensors, data packet processing, network security systems, microprocessors, and automated telephonic systems along with IP Litigation.

Andrew Yen is an associate at Lewis Brisbois LLP where his practice includes representing Insurance Carriers and Employers before the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board as well as representing Employers on matters involving discrimination under Labor Code, Section 132 (a) and Serious and Willful Misconduct.  Andrew received his J.D. from Southwestern Law School and his B.A in Criminology, Law & Society from UC Irvine.  During law school, Andrew served as the president of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and pacific south regional director of the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association.

Sandy Yu is currently an Associate Attorney at Olmos and Reynolds Law Group, LLP, providing legal representation to immigrants before USCIS, U.S. Immigration Courts and California Criminal Courts. Prior to joining Olmos and Reynolds Law Group, LLP, Sandy was a Staff Attorney at the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, where she represented victims of human trafficking with immigration reliefs and a UCLA Public Service fellow at the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, where she provided legal services to low-income clients on immigration and family law matters. She received both her law degree, with an emphasis in public interest law, and her master’s degree in social welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law and School of Public Affairs. She has been active with the API bar association community since law school. During law school, she served as a law representative for APABA and APAWLA. She is currently an executive board member of APAWLA. 

Abigail Zelenski is the founding attorney at Zelenski Law, PC, a boutique law firm that focuses on servicing companies and employees on a wide variety of employment and labor issues, including wage-and-hour, harassment, discrimination, and wrongful-termination matters.  Throughout her career, Abigail has worked to settle over forty class actions and mass actions, recovering millions on behalf of employees and consumers.  In addition to her legal practice, Abigail was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to sit on the inaugural Los Angeles Civil and Human Rights Commissions, where she will serve her term as a Los Angeles City Commissioner through June 2023.  Abigail obtained her bachelor’s degree from USC and her law degree from the UCLA School of Law.  Abigail will serve as the President-Elect of the Philippine American Bar Association for 2020.



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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