2019 PABA

OFFICERS

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John Ryan De La Merced
President
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.

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Cherisse H. Cleofe
President-Elect
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.

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Alexander P. Sario
Treasurer
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.

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Abigail Zelenski
Secretary
Zelenski Law, PC

Abigail Zelenski is the founding attorney at Zelenski Law (abigail@zelenskilaw.com). Zelenski Law is a boutique law firm that focuses on servicing clients on employment and labor 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 a wide range of industries. For the past six years, 2013 through 2018, Abigail was named a Super Lawyer Rising Star. In 2019, Abigail was honored as a Super Lawyer.

Abigail earned her J.D. at the UCLA School of Law and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Southern California, 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 by Los Angeles residents 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.

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Zathrina Zasell G. Perez
Chair of the Board
Gibson Dunn

Zathrina Perez is a senior associate in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She currently practices in the firm’s Litigation Department.

Ms. Perez has extensive trial experience. She has served as lead trial associate on multiple trial teams, including in lengthy jury and bench trials. She also has served as a critical member of many other trial teams. She has argued complex motions, conducted cross and direct examinations of many witnesses, prepared and presented testimony from experts, and taken and defended depositions. She has substantial experience litigating in federal, state and territorial courts throughout the United States.

Ms. Perez also has extensive arbitration experience. She has represented clients, including plaintiffs and defendants, in connection with seven arbitrations and arbitration-related litigation. She has litigated all stages of arbitration proceedings, from demands for arbitration through arbitral hearings to arbitral awards and judicial review of arbitral awards. She has appeared as counsel before JAMS and AAA. In addition, she has conducted investigations as outside counsel for corporations.

Ms. Perez has represented one of the world’s most valuable apparel brands, a major travel retailer of luxury products, a technology start-up engaged in data services, a global financial institution, American sports icons and athletes, and major corporate sponsors of sporting events. She has developed significant skills as a litigation generalist with specific experience in investigations, government and governing body disputes, consumer and enterprise sales and marketing, data licensing and privacy, sports entertainment, and employment disputes.

Ms. Perez received her Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude in 2009 from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. While at Georgetown, she interned for the Honorable Judge Paul L. Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Ms. Perez graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a major in International Economics and a minor in Political Science.

Ms. Perez is admitted to practice law in the State of California.

PABA BOARD OF

DIRECTORS

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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.
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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.
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Tristan S. Bufete
Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise LLP
Tristan Bufete is an associate with Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise LLP. Tristan focuses his practice exclusively on probate litigation, with an emphasis on trusts and estates. Prior to joining Sacks Glazier, Tristan was an associate at the Los Angeles office of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where he handled a variety of commercial litigation matters. Tristan received his J.D. from UCLA School of Law. He earned his B.A. in Economics and Political Science, summa cum laude, from California State University, Fresno. While in law school, Tristan participated in the UCLA Supreme Court Clinic and served as associate editor of the UCLA Law Review. Prior to law school, Tristan worked as a paralegal at Public Counsel Law Center, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm.
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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.
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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.
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Jason Don A. de Jesus
Parker, Milliken, Clark, O'Hara & Samuelian, APC
Jason A. de Jesus is a litigation associate at Parker, Milliken, Clark, O'Hara & Samuelian, APC. Previously, he worked as an in-house staff counsel for a major insurance company.

Jason 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, where he co-authored several peer-reviewed journal publications examining the fields of neuro-oncology and Alzheimer’s disease.

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Christine J. Gonong
Nguyen Lawyers, ALC
Christine J. Gonong practices complex litigation focusing on catastrophic injury. She is the leading appeals and law and motion attorney at Nguyen Lawyers. She is also an adjunct faculty at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. Christine was a law clerk to Justice Mario R. Ramil of the Hawaii Supreme Court and Circuit Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Christine also clerked in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California for Judges S. James Otero, Dale S. Fischer, Otis D. Wright II, and Jacqueline H. Nguyen. Between her clerkships, Christine was a litigation associate at Jones Day’s Los Angeles office. Christine earned her JD from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2002. She served as a notes and managing editor for the Hastings Law Journal and was awarded with the Raymond L. Ocampo, Jr. Scholarship by the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC). Christine received her BA in Political Science magna cum laude from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she was awarded with College Honors and the Morgan Harris Scholarship Award. Christine is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in the State of California and is also a member of the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit. Christine was named a “Southern California Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine in 2008. Christine is committed to public service. She currently serves as Secretary for the National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA) and a member of the California Lawyers Association’s (CLA) Committee on Administration of Justice and the Board of Governors of the Philippine American Bar Association (PABA). Christine was the 2015-2016 PABA President.
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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.
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Diana Martinez
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP
Diana is a first year associate at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP where she practices labor, employment, and consumer class action litigation. She earned her B.A., summa cum laude, from McMaster University where she studied Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior and specialized in Music Cognition. During her undergraduate career, she interned at psychology laboratories and co-authored a publication in Cognition. Diana received her J.D. from Loyola Law School. While in law school, she was an editor on the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review and her note on data privacy and augmented reality has been selected for publication. Diana previously interned for a tech start-up based in New York City where she explored several practice areas including digital media, contracts, data privacy, securities regulation, and labor and employment. She has been a PABA member since her second year of law school. During her spare time, she enjoys traveling, visiting contemporary art museums, exploring restaurants and cafes, playing board games, and amateur photography.
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Philip L. Nulud
Buchalter
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.

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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.

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Ria Pascual
Goodwin Procter LLP
Ria Pascual is a corporate associate in Goodwin Procter LLP’s Technology and Life Sciences group. Her representation of companies and investors spans the entire corporate life-cycle, including pre-incorporation planning, general corporate representation and counseling, venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, corporate governance and public company representation.

Ria received her B.A. in 2012 from the University of California, San Diego, where she double majored in Political Science and Communication. She received her J.D. in 2016 from UCLA School of Law. During law school, Ria served as a judicial extern at the California Supreme Court to Associate Justice Goodwin Liu.

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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.

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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.

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Stacey A. Villagomez
Allen Matkins
Stacey A. Villagomez is a litigation associate in Allen Matkins' Los Angeles office. She practices in all aspects of general business and real estate litigation in both state and federal courts. Stacey received her bachelor's degree in English, with a minor in Asian American Studies from UCLA. She received her J.D. from USC Gould School of Law where she served as Topic Editor for the Hale Moot Court Honors Program and Secretary for the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. While in law school, Stacey also obtained a Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Prior to entering law school, Stacey worked as a paralegal for five years at an Orange County law firm. She also clerked for boutique litigation and appellate firms in Los Angeles while completing her law degree. Stacey is currently Co-Chair of the General Real Property Subsection of LACBA and is an active member of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.
PABA STUDENT

REPRESENTATIVES

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Brendan Pratt
Student Rep
UCLA School of Law

Brendan Pratt is a first year J.D. candidate at the UCLA School of Law. He graduated magna cum laude from New York University in 2011 with a major in English & American Literature and a minor in History. He is the current Co-Chair for the Asian/Pacific Islander Law Students Association at UCLA. He is also a Staff Editor for the UCLA Criminal Justice Law Review. This upcoming summer he will extern for Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to attending law school he worked for Oxford University Press and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP. In his free time he likes to cook, golf, and write poetry.