2018 PABA


Zathrina Zasell G. Perez
Gibson Dunn

Zathrina Perez is a senior litigator and trial attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. She has substantial experience in representing major companies and managing high-stakes, complex litigation. Zathrina has successfully defended international and national companies in litigation alleging violations of wage-and-hour law, consumer protection law and securities law and in litigation presenting multidisciplinary legal issues. Her multifaceted practice also includes representing top athletes, a national professional players association and a major company providing endorsements to athletes and sponsorship to sporting events.

Zathrina received her Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude in 2005 from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she majored in International Economics and minored in Political Science. She received her Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude in 2009 from Georgetown University Law Center. At Georgetown, she authored and published Piercing the Veil of Informant Confidentiality and edited law review contributions as an Annual Survey Editor of the American Criminal Law Review; was accoladed in moot court; and served as judicial intern for the Honorable Paul L. Friedman in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

John Ryan De La Merced
Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP

John Ryan De La Merced is an associate at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles LLP and a member of the firm's Business Litigation Group. John's practice focuses on business litigation, which includes commercial and intellectual property disputes. His experience encompasses all aspects of the litigation process, including drafting operative pleadings and responses, law and motion practice, discovery, mediation, client counseling, and assisting in trial.

John attained his B.A., cum laude, from UC Riverside and his J.D. from UCLA School of Law. During law school, John served as a judicial extern at the Los Angeles Superior Court to the Honorable R. Bruce Minto and at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to the Honorable S. James Otero. John also served as articles editor and chief articles editor for the Asian Pacific American Law Journal, one of only two law journals in the United States that focuses exclusively on legal issues affecting Asian Pacific American communities.

Alexander P. Sario
Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender

Alex is a felony trial attorney for the Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender's Office. His current practice includes serious felonies and homicides at the Pomona Courthouse. He also practiced public criminal defense in Riverside County and business litigation in downtown Los Angeles. He received his B.A. from the University of California, San Diego, and his J.D. from Loyola Law School.

Cherisse H. Cleofe
Kiesel Law LLP

Cherisse H. Cleofe is an associate at Kiesel Law LLP. Her practice focuses on mass tort litigation against pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Cleofe was involved in practice development at JAMS. She was also a volunteer attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Orange County. Ms. Cleofe received her B.S. in Management Science from the University of California, San Diego and her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. She is currently on the LACBA Barristers Executive Committee and serves as the Chair of the Recruiting Taskforce for the USF School of Law Board of Governors.

Philip Lim Nulud
Chair of the Board

Philip is an attorney in Buchalter's Los Angeles office and a member of the Intellectual Property and Corporate Practice Groups. His practice focuses on counseling clients in the apparel and textile, and technology industries in developing, protecting and licensing their valuable ideas. He has extensive experience in international enforcement and prosecution and has assisted many companies in obtaining their trademarks overseas.

He earned his J.D. at Loyola Law School and his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, with a minor in Political Science (concentrating in Law and Public Policy) from the University of Southern California. Mr. Nulud also previously clerked for the Supreme Court of the Republic of the Philippines and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office: Consumer Protection Division.



Marlon B. Baldomero
Law Offices of Marlon B. Baldomero
Marlon B. Baldomero obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines College of Law and his undergraduate Bachelor's degree from the Ateneo de Manila University. Upon migrating to the United States, he took up and earned a Master of Laws degree from Whittier Law School with a focus on the U.S. legal system for foreign-trained lawyers. Because of his background, Mr. Baldomero is very sensitive to the needs of southern California's immigrant communities, particularly in the area of Immigration law. He has helped countless of immigrants obtain legal permanent resident status and US citizenship. He has appeared before Immigration judges in behalf of clients in removal proceedings and has successfully argued to terminate their deportation cases. He currently practices as a solo attorney with offices in Glendale and Torrance, California.
Josephine Ann Brosas
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP
Josephine Ann Brosas is a Partner at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP. She is a registered patent attorney and focuses her practice in the areas of intellectual property and technology matters, and in establishing, protecting, and defending intellectual property rights. She represents clients in a range of industries including food, nutritional supplements, apparel, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. She earned her B.S. in Biochemistry from UCLA, magna cum laude, and her J.D. from Southwestern Law School, magna cum laude. She is fluent in Tagalog.
Melanie K. Buccat
Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office
Melanie K. Buccat is a Deputy District Attorney for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. She is assigned to Pasadena in the Victim Impact Program (VIP) where she vertically prosecutes elder abuse cases, sex crimes, stalking cases, and family violence. In 2012, her legislative proposal to amend California Vehicle Code section 27317 was passed by both the assembly and senate. She received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge.
Tristan S. Bufete
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
Tristan Bufete is a litigation associate in the Los Angeles office of O'Melveny & Myers LLP. Tristan's practice includes general commercial litigation matters, as well as class action and insurance coverage litigation. Tristan dedicates significant time to pro bono work, representing clients in political asylum and adoption proceedings. He is also a volunteer with the Los Angeles County Teen Court Program at Gardena High School and the Trial Advocacy Prosecution Program with the Redondo Beach City Attorney's Office.

Tristan received his J.D. in 2014 from UCLA School of Law. He earned his B.A., summa cum laude, from California State University, Fresno in 2008. While in law school, Tristan participated in the UCLA Supreme Court Clinic and served as associate editor of the UCLA Law Review. Prior to attending law school, Tristan worked as a paralegal at Public Counsel Law Center, the nationís largest pro bono law firm.

Mercedes A. Cook
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
Mercedes A. Cook is an associate in the Business Trials Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin's Los Angeles Office. She represents clients in a variety of civil litigation matters including disputes involving claims for breach of contract, fraud, unfair competition, and violations of environmental regulations. Mercedes is also an active member of Sheppard Mullin's Pro Bono Program, where she serves as the firm's coordinator for the Public Counsel Adoptions Project. She earned her J.D. from UCLA School of Law, and her B.A. from the University of Southern California.
Jonathan Cruz
Los Angeles County Public Defender
Jonathan is a trial attorney for the Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office where he represents indigent defendants in matters that range from public intoxication to homicide. He received his B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Music from the University of California, Santa Barbara and J.D. from Loyola Law School.
Edward P. Dailo
Law Offices of Stephen A. Shapiro
Edward P. Dailo is an associate attorney with the Law Offices of Stephen A. Shapiro, a law division of Safeway Insurance Company. Mr. Dailo earned his B.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California and his J.D. from the University of La Verne-College of Law. He enjoys basketball, soccer, dancing, hiking, traveling, and Broadway musicals.
Jason Don A. de Jesus
Trinidad & Associates
Jason is an associate counsel for Trinidad & Associates, a staff counsel office of Travelers Insurance Company. He earned his B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics from UCLA and his J.D. from Loyola Law School. During law school, he served as a judicial extern at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to the Honorable S. James Otero. Jason also served as a Developments Editor for the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review and worked for the Disability Rights Legal Center and Central Health Plan of California. Prior to law school, he worked as a histotechnologist and research associate at UCLA Neuropathology.
Christine J. Gonong
Nguyen Lawyers, ALC
Christine is an attorney at Nguyen Lawyers, ALC, where she practices complex litigation focusing on catastrophic injury. She is also an Adjunct Faculty at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. Christine clerked for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the Supreme Court of Hawaii, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She was also a litigation associate at the Los Angeles office of Jones Day. In 2008, Super Lawyers recognized Christine as a Southern California Rising Star. A member of PABA's Board of Governors since 2008, Christine served as PABA President in 2015. Christine, along with Serafin Tagarao and Edward Dailo, wrote an article entitled ``Filipinos on the Bench and Challenges and Solutions for Today and Tomorrow's Generations,`` which was published in the 2017 Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession Review and the 22nd Volume of the Asian Pacific American Law Journal. Christine received her J.D. from UC Hastings College of the Law. While in law school, she served as a Managing and Notes Editor of the Hastings Law Journal. Christine received her B.A. from UCLA, where she graduated magna cum laude. Christine enjoys dancing, photography, traveling, Broadway musicals, and hiking.
Benjamin J. Hofileña, Jr.
Twentieth Century Fox
Ben Hofileña is in-house counsel at Twentieth Century Fox where he works as a production attorney in feature films. For twelve years prior to joining Fox, Ben worked at the global law firms of McDermott, Will & Emery LLP and Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe LLP where his practice focused on intellectual property matters. Ben served as President of the Philippine American Bar Association in 2007-2008 and is the Immediate Past President of the PABA Foundation. Throughout his career, Ben has been committed to his pro bono work on behalf of children and domestic violence victims primarily working with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), The Alliance for Children's Rights, and Public Counsel. Ben earned his B.S. in Physiological Science at UCLA and his J.D. from Loyola Law School. While in law school, Ben won the national championship for the Giles Sutherland Rich IP Moot Court Competition sponsored by the AIPLA and was a judicial extern to the the Honorable Stephen R. Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Ben loves all things UCLA, underwater photography and is a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor.
Ranika S. Morales
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Ranika S. Morales is an associate in Greenberg Traurig, LLP's Los Angeles office focusing primarily on intellectual property, data privacy, and cybersecurity litigation. She counsels entertainment and media, technology, and internet-based companies on matters relating to trademark, copyright, privacy, cybersecurity, unfair competition/false advertising, trade secret, and TCPA class action defense. Previously, Ranika served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Johnnie B. Rawlinson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She also worked in-house in the Intellectual Property department of NBCUniversal. Ranika is an alumna of the U.C. Irvine School of Law and Syracuse University. She has served on the PABA Board of Governors since 2013. In serving on the PABA board, Ranika hopes to continue the legacy of her grandfather, the late Royal ``Uncle Roy`` Morales, a civil rights activist, professor of Pilipino American Studies at UCLA, and founder of Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA).
Ernie A. Ocampo
Reed Smith LLP
Ernie is Counsel in the Entertainment & Media Industry Group of Reed Smith LLP. Ernie advises entertainment clients in connection with investments, joint ventures and business launches, and advises real estate clients on acquisitions and development of renewable energy facilities and commercial properties.

Ernie serves on the Board of Directors of the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association and is co-Chair of its Scholarship Committee. He also serves as pro bono counsel for Search to Involve Pilipino Americans. Each fall, Ernie co-hosts a welcome reception for first-year USC students from the Philippines.

Ernie earned his J.D. from Cal and his B.S. in Public Policy, with a minor Business, from USC.

Maria Emmanor M. Rigonan
US Tax Shield
Emmanor is a Tax Attorney at US Tax Shield, where she assists taxpayers in resolving outstanding tax balances with the IRS and state departments of revenue. Emmanor also has several years of experience as an accountant. She earned her B.S. degree, cum laude, in Business Administration-Accounting from California State University, Los Angeles and her J.D. from Southwestern Law School. She is fluent in Tagalog, and enjoys live escape games, scuba diving, and traveling.
Adrian Gidaya Roxas
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
Adrian is a Deputy District Attorney with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Since becoming a prosecutor in 2007, Adrian has successfully prosecuted felony jury trials to verdict, ranging from murders, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault cases, including rape, and child molestation. Currently, he is a member of the Sex Crimes Division, where he exclusively prosecutes child sexual abusers.

Adrian was born and raised in Carson, California. He earned his B.A. in English, Summa Cum Laude, from Cal Poly Pomona in 2001, and his J.D., with Honors, from Southwestern Law School in 2004.

Sandy K. Roxas
Roxas Law, APC
Sandy K. Roxas is the managing partner at Roxas Law, APC in Torrance, California. Ms. Roxas was named to the 2018 and 2017 Southern California Rising Stars list, published by Super Lawyers. For over a decade, Ms. Roxas has zealously litigated family law disputes, mediated high-conflict cases, and obtained or defended restraining orders.

Sandy received her J.D. in 2004 from Chapman University School of Law. She earned her B.A., cum laude, from Cal Poly Pomona. While in law school, Sandy co-founded the Asian-Pacific American Law Students Association to provide a pipeline for law students entering the legal profession. When Sandy is not practicing law, she is serving the community. Since 2009, she and her husband have funded annual scholarships to underprivileged students at the local High School. Since 2012, Sandy has been a major sponsor for ``Slippers for Kids`` and ``Apples for Kids,`` Outreach Programs providing much needed slippers and apples for impoverished children in the Philippines and most whom have never in their lives owned a pair of slippers or tasted an apple.

Serafin H. Tagarao
Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani
Serafin H. Tagarao is a labor and employment associate at Gordon & Rees. His practice includes defending individual and class action employment litigation on alleged claims for wage and hour violations, wrongful termination, federal and state leave laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Serafin also counsels clients in all aspects of workplace compliance. He serves as Chair of the Media Committee and member of the Board of Governors for PABA. Serafin, along with Christine Gonong and Edward Dailo, co-authored an article entitled ``Filipinos on the Bench and Challenges and Solutions for Today and Tomorrow's Generations`` slated to be published by The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession in 2017.
Abigail Zelenski
Zelenski Law
Abigail Zelenski is the founding attorney at Zelenski Law (abigail@zelenskilaw.com). Zelenski Law is a boutique law firm that focuses on servicing clients in labor and employment issues, including general advice and counsel, wrongful termination, harassment, wage and hour, and litigation. Throughout her career, Abigail has focused extensively on class actions involving primarily wage-and-hour and other consumer violations . Over the past fifteen years, Abigail has worked to settle over forty class actions and mass actions, recovering millions on behalf of employees and consumers in various industries, including those in the motion-picture, security, healthcare, food, retail, and banking industries. For the past six years, 2013 through 2018, Abigail was named a Southern California Super Lawyer.

Abigail earned her J.D. at the UCLA School of Law in 2003 and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Southern California in 2000, magna cum laude. Abigail was the past Vice President of the Board of the Filipino American Library and Filipino American Heritage Institute, where she dedicated seven years of community service. In October 2012, Abigail was elected to the Governing Board of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, where she served her term through April 2014. Abigail also currently serves on the Board of the non-profit community service group, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans.



Alexander Manglinong
Student Rep
University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Alexander Manglinong is a second year law student at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. He graduated summa cum laude from UCLA in 2014 with a B.A. in Political Science. This past summer, he clerked for Mental Health Advocacy Services, a public interest organization, where he provided direct legal services for people with mental illness. He enjoys boxing, cooking, and gardening in his spare time.

Diana Martinez
Student Rep
Loyola Law School

Diana Martinez is a third year J.D. candidate at Loyola Law School. She graduated from McMaster University in 2014, where she majored in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behavior and specialized in music cognition. Currently, she interns for a tech start-up company based in New York City, and is a Production Editor on the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review.

Bettina Tiangco
Student Rep
University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Bettina Tiangco is a second year law student at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She graduated from Stanford University in 2013 with a degree and honors in Anthropology. She is currently a student attorney with her school's International Human Rights Clinic, assisting a Filipino human trafficking survivor obtain a T visa. She is also a staff member of the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, and a Social Chair of USC's Asian Pacific American Law Student Association. This summer, Bettina will be a Summer Associate at Ropes & Gray's San Francisco office. She enjoys social dancing and singing in her spare time.

William Trinidad
Student Rep
Loyola Law School

William Trinidad is a second-year law student at Loyola Law School. He graduated from American University in 2013, where he double-majored in Political Science and International Relations. Prior to starting law school, he worked as a paralegal for the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He has also worked as a summer law clerk for the L.A. District Attorney's Office. He is currently a legal extern at Consumer Watchdog, an executive board member of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, and has volunteered as a legal observer for the National Lawyers Guild.

Kimberly Paggabao
Student Rep
Southwestern Law School

Kimberly Paggabao is a rising third year J.D. student at Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Associations with an option in Business Law at California State University Northridge. She is the current Co-Chair for the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, as well as Publicity Chair for the Public Interest Law Committee.

Kimberly wishes to pursue a career in the health law field and has an 8-year experience in the health care field. In the summer of 2017, she interned at the Disability Rights Legal Center’s Cancer Legal Resource Division, where she drafted correspondence and conducted legal research of various Federal and State laws pertaining to cancer rights. In the upcoming summer, she will be interning at the State of California Department of Justice Office of the Attorney General's Licensing division.