CWLC Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Lois D. Thompson, President

Lois D. Thompson is a partner at Proskauer Rose LLP and has represented clients in complex litigation for over 30 years. Initially based in New York, Lois has broad litigation experience, most prominently in the areas of real estate and securities law. She is on the boards of the Western Center on Law and Poverty and the Western Justice Center. She graduated from Smith College, on whose board she also serves, and earned her law degree from the Columbia University School of Law.

Mira El Sonbaty, Vice President

Mira El Sonbaty is Vice President and Group Privacy Officer at 21st Century Fox. Mira advises 21CF entertainment, film, television, cable, and production businesses on all areas related to privacy and data security. Mira is former associate of Arnold & Porter, where she focused on consumer protection, intellectual property, and complex commercial litigation. Mira is committed to public service and served for many years on the Advisory Board for the Western Center on Law and Poverty. Mira received her law degree from University of Southern California Gould School of Law, and her undergraduate degree from Pomona College in Claremont, California.

Chris Hollinger, Treasurer

Chris Hollinger is a partner with O’Melveny & Myers LLP in San Francisco and specializes in labor and employment law. His practice has focused on the representation of airlines in labor matters for over two decades. Chris is the Editor-in-Chief of the Third Edition of the Railway Labor Act, which is the leading treatise in the field of airline and railroad labor law. He graduated from Dartmouth College and earned his law degree from the University of Chicago.

Rasha Gerges Shields, Secretary

Rasha Gerges Shields is a partner at Jones Day and is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer who focuses on complex civil litigation, white-collar criminal defense, and internal corporate investigations. Prior to joining Jones Day, Rasha was an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles for over seven years where she also served as the Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. Rasha has been the lead trial counsel in federal court and has argued before the California Supreme Court, and federal, state appellate, and trial courts. Rasha also served as a law clerk on the Ninth Circuit and the Central District of California. Rasha and her family immigrated to the United States from Egypt when she was two years old. A graduate of the University of California, Irvine, she received her law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Stacey Armato, Board Member

Stacey Armato is an attorney at Atlantic Investors and a dedicated community advocate and volunteer. Elected to the Hermosa Beach City Council in 2016, Stacey is also a Board Member for BreastfeedLA, Co-Chair of Winemasters for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and a member of the Parent Advisory Council for Mattel’s Children’s Hospital at UCLA. A women’s rights champion, in 2011 Stacey brought a lawsuit against TSA for harassment related to breast milk screening. As part of the settlement, TSA re-wrote their breast milk policy and re-trained all TSA employees on the proper handling of breast milk at airports. Stacey received her undergraduate degree in Gerontology from USC and her law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law.

Tony Blain, Board Member

Tony Blain is an entertainment attorney who has represented a wide range of content-based clients in transactions and litigation. Named one of the “Top 100 People in Hollywood You Need to Know” by Fade In Magazine for two consecutive years, Tony has been a featured speaker at seminars, events, and panels held by the American Film Institute, Writer’s Guild of America, and the UCLA Extension Program’s Independent Producer series. He graduated from Brown University and earned his law degree from Pepperdine School of Law.

Christa Demeke, Board Member

Christa Demeke is a litigation attorney at Roll Law Group P.C. Christa represents Roll Global LLC’s affiliated companies in litigation and also works on regulatory, marketing, and advertising matters. Prior to Roll, Christa was counsel at O’Melveny & Myers, LLP and she clerked for Judge Michael A. Ponsor of the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts. Her pro bono work has focused on assisting asylum seekers, juveniles charged as adults in criminal cases, Violence Against Women Act petitioners, and adoptive parents. She is an active volunteer with the I Have a Dream Foundation-Los Angeles and is a member of the John M. Langston Bar Association In-House Attorney Committee. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and earned her law degree from Stanford Law School.

Theane Evangelis, Board Member

Theane Evangelis is an appellate and general commercial litigation partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She plays a substantial role in a wide range of appellate, constitutional, media, and entertainment cases, as well as crisis management matters, employment, consumer, wage-and-hour, and securities class actions. She also represented plaintiffs in the federal constitutional challenge to Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage. She graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and earned her law degree from the New York University School of Law.

Kevin Feldman, Board Member

Kevin Feldman is CEO of Feldman Capital LLC in San Francisco, a strategy and advisory firm, providing services to global asset management clients. Prior to September 2014, Kevin was the CEO of World Gold Trust Services where he had responsibility for overseeing global investment operations. Previously, Kevin has held senior leadership positions at BlackRock, Vanguard and Charles Schwab. Kevin received his M.P.A. from Harvard and B.A. from UCLA. He is a Certified Financial Planner and serves as a non-public arbitrator for financial industry matters at FINRA.

Victor George, Board Member

Victor George represents plaintiffs in employment discrimination and catastrophic personal injury matters. Victor has been named Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and has been nominated for this honor eight out of the last ten years. Victor frequently lectures and teaches both plaintiff and defense attorneys for all phases of trial skills. Victor graduated from West Virginia University and received his law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law.

Lisa Gilford, Board Member

Lisa Gilford is a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and a champion of diversity. At Skadden, she is a leading complex civil litigator where her practice is focused on class actions, products liability law, and jury trials. Prior to joining Skadden in 2013, Ms. Gilford was the co-chair of the products liability practice at another prominent law firm. She taught at the Georgetown University Law Center and was a graduate fellow and public service lawyer with Georgetown’s Institute for Public Representation. She frequently lectures on topics including California tort, consumer protection and unfair competition claims, defense of class actions, best practices for outside counsel, and professional development for women lawyers and other diversity issues. She is a current board member of Bet Tzedek and the former president of the National Association of Women Lawyers, Langston Bar Association, and the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles. She received her undergraduate degree from Furman University, her law degree from the University of Southern California, and her LL.M. from Georgetown University.

Genie Harrison, Board Member

Genie Harrison is the principal of the Genie Harrison Law Firm which focuses on plaintiff’s employment, civil rights and wage and hour matters. She has previously been a partner at Schonbrun, DeSimone, Seplow, Harris, Hoffman & Harrison as well as Litt, Estuar, Harrison & Kitson. Genie is a frequent speaker and author on employment law matters and presents regularly at seminars regarding trial work, discovery tactics and strategy, and on substantive areas of the law within employment litigation. She is involved with several professional associations and presently serves as the secretary for the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), where she will be president in 2021. In 2017, Genie was named among the Top 10 Super Lawyers in Southern California for the second year in a row as well as one of the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers in Southern California. She has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America for Plaintiff’s Employment Litigation and named one of the Top Labor and Employment Lawyers by the Daily Journal. She did her undergraduate work at Elmhurst College and received her law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law.

Esra Hudson, Board Member

Esra Hudson is a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP and focuses on employment law and related litigation. She represents companies in state and federal court in claims of discrimination, harassment, wrongful discharge, breach of contract, trade secrets, and unfair competition. She also defends companies against employment based class action suits and provides management training on a variety of employment related subjects, including sexual harassment and discrimination prevention. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned her law degree from University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

Diana Hughes Leiden, Board Member

Diana Hughes Leiden is a litigation associate at Winston & Strawn, focusing on trademark, copyright, and antitrust litigation.  Diana began her career with a year-long fellowship working as a staff attorney at the AIDS Legal Referral Panel in San Francisco, and continues to be dedicated to pro bono work.  She has represented several asylum applicants in both San Francisco and Los Angeles Immigration Court, as well as parents seeking to adopt children from the foster care system.  Diana earned her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she graduated cum laude and was the Executive Notes Editor of the Hastings Women’s Law Journal, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Cathy Kim, Board Member

Cathy Kim is on the executive team of Voluware, a SaaS company serving the healthcare industry. Prior to Voluware, she was Director of Corporate Development at Arzon Solar and a senior manager at Amonix, Arzon’s predecessor. Prior to Arzon, Cathy was a senior litigation associate for Winston & Strawn where she defended publicly traded companies to resolve matters before the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice. In 2010, she served as the team leader for research regarding economic trade issues on sustainable energy, which was presented to the APEC Business Advisory Council in Japan. She graduated from Yale University, earned her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and received her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.

Bethany Kristovich, Board Member

Bethany Kristovich’s practice at Munger Tolles & Olson (MTO) is focused on complex civil litigation with an emphasis in trial work, particularly representing television content creators and law firms. Named one of California’s “Top 20 Under 40” lawyers by the Daily Journal in 2015, she is an active member of her community and maintains a busy pro bono practice. Bethany was among the Munger Tolles lawyers who assisted the Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC) in their class action Lauderdale v. City of Long Beach which sought and obtained injunctive relief for a class comprised of deaf and hard of hearing individuals; in 2010, MTO received DRLC’s Counsel of the Year Award for their extensive pro bono work on disability matters. In 2008, Bethany took a leave of absence from her firm to serve as a volunteer deputy city attorney and, immediately following the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, she returned to her home state of Louisiana where she volunteered for the Orleans Indigent Defender Program, assisting clients in court every day for two months. Bethany clerked for the Honorable Edward Rafeedie in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. She completed her undergraduate studies at Pomona College and received her law degree from University of Southern California Law School, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif.

Anna Menedjian, Board Member

Anna Menedjian is a former journalist with an extensive background in law, business and leadership. She grew up working with legendary trial lawyers on some of the most important cases in the country, including cases that changed state and federal laws. She is the founder and CEO of 2020 Inc., a risk and emergency management consulting firm. She is a graduate of Pepperdine University and serves on the boards of the National Association of Women Business Owners Los Angeles Chapter (NAWBOLA) and the Consulate General of Armenia’s Community Affairs Council. She is also a Mayoral Blue Ribbon Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles.  

Edie Mermelstein, Board Member

F. Edie Mermelstein is the founding attorney of FEM Law Group with offices in Orange and Los Angeles Counties. Ms. Mermelstein is a civil litigator with a special interest in financial elder abuse, trust litigation, intellectual property, consumer protection, and employment class issues. She also handles appeals, Anti-SLAPP motions, and estate planning matters. In 2016, Ms. Mermelstein represented California consumers in a class action case regarding forced arbitration provisions before the U.S. Supreme Court. She was named as a Super Lawyer Rising Star in 2016 and 2017 and a Super Lawyer for 2018.  Edie is a graduate of the University of Southern California and received her law degree from Abraham Lincoln University. Through adversity, Ms. Mermelstein found her calling and has demonstrated her commitment to women, children and the elderly by dedicating a percentage of her practice to pro bono work to further her advocacy for the underserved.

Erika Norman, Board Member

Erika Norman is an associate at Arnold & Porter and focuses on environmental compliance and complex litigation with an emphasis on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, Oil Pollution Act, and Clean Air Act. She maintains a busy pro bono practice and has represented a group of more than 30 tenants in affordable housing bringing habitability claims against their landlord and victims of military sexual trauma. Erika was named to the Southern California Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list in 2014 and 2015. Prior to joining Arnold & Porter, she clerked at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Erika earned her law degree from the University of Oregon, where she graduated first in her class, and her bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College. Erika also serves on the Young Alumnae Council at Marlborough School in Los Angeles.

Pamela Palmer, Board Member

Pamela Palmer is a litigation partner at Pepper Hamilton specializing in complex business litigation, with extensive experience defending clients in securities class actions, derivative suits, merger and acquisition litigation, fiduciary and business judgment cases, including matters in both federal and state courts and government enforcement agencies. Prior to private practice, Pamela served as a law clerk on the Ninth Circuit of Appeal. Pamela is a co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Derivative Suits Sub-Committee and serves as a board member of the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the Federal Bar Association in Orange County and the Advisory Board of Peace Over Violence. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine and received her law degree from the University of Southern California.

Amy Quartarolo, Board Member

Amy Quartarolo has been with Latham Watkins since 2002 and is a member of the firm’s Litigation and Trial Department and the Insolvency Litigation Practice Group.  In her practice, she represents both debtors and creditors in a range of bankruptcy-related and complex commercial litigation, and regularly practices in both state and federal courts. She also serves on the firm’s Women Enriching Business (WEB) committee and the Training and Career Enhancement Committee, and is a member of the EEO Review Board. She graduated from UC Davis and received her law degree from UCLA.