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 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 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.
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.
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.
Samantha Caldwell is the Vice President, Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of Health Net, Inc., a Fortune 300 publicly-traded managed care organization, and is responsible for managing the corporate legal department. Before joining Health Net, she practiced general corporate transactional and securities law at Skadden, Arps. She graduated from Dartmouth College and earned her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Anna Menedjian is a former journalist and the owner of Menedjian & Associates, LLC, a litigation consulting firm specializing in personal injury, product liability and mass torts pharmaceutical and medical device cases. She has over 17 years of litigation experience and has worked with prominent lawyers, including Charlie O’Reilly, Tom Girardi, and J. Paul Sizemore. She is a graduate of Pepperdine University and is presently attending law school at the University of London. Anna also serves on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners.
Edie Mermelstein operates her own practice litigating consumer and employment class action suits as well as trust and financial elder abuse cases in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Edie dedicates a meaningful portion of her practice to pro bono work and is a champion for the underserved. She also founded the Breast Cancer Angels’ Pro Bono Legal Program. Edie is a graduate of the University of Southern California and received her law degree from Abraham Lincoln University.
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 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.