FBANC 1122016-2017 FBANC Board with the California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye


Solano County Alternate Public Defender 

Christine Mari Palma Start is a Deputy Public Defender with Solano County Alternate Public Defender where she proudly represents indigent individuals charged with crimes from arraignment through jury trial and appeal. Christine’s passion for public defense work sparked over ten years ago while working as a criminal defense investigator in Washington, D.C. Christine has been featured as a speaker and panelist at several “Know Your Rights” community forums and educational events. Christine also serves as a board member of the Asian American Criminal Trial Lawyers’ Association.

Christine received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law where she was honored with the Pursuit of Justice Award in 2010. She also was the recipient of the Jung Foundation Public Interest Scholarship to the 2015 NAPABA Convention. Most recently, Christine was honored with the Thurgood Marshall “Intricate Planner and Defender of the Poor” Award through Solano County Office of the Public Defender.

Christine also has a side hustle as a Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership Index – Master Practitioner called FireStarter Coaching. Christine believes in empowering leaders by raising their level of consciousness through experience, growth and contribution. This will be Christine’s sixth year on the board and she is honored to be FBANC’s incoming president. She is stoked to serve our community by leading with her head, heart, gut and soul!  Contact Christine at

Lorna Garcia De Guzman

Farmers Insurance Exchange

Lorna currently serves as In-House Counsel for Farmers Insurance Group, specializing in trial litigation defense for insured businesses in the Northern California area.  Lorna was previously an associate for Laughlin, Falbo, Levy & Moresi.  Prior to earning her Juris Doctorate degree from Golden Gate University, Lorna graduated Magna Cum Laude after earning dual degrees in Political Science and Business, with triple concentrations in Management, Finance and Economics from Notre Dame University.  Lorna is a native of the Bay Area, where she currently lives with her husband and three sons. She is also currently serving on the Board of Directors for North Valley Little League.


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Birdi & Associates, Inc. 

As General Counsel for Birdi & Associates, Inc., a systems engineering and contracting firm, Laurie provides legal support to all levels of management and handles all legal affairs including intellectual property strategy and mangement, employment matters, creating and implementation of policy and process initiatives, and commercial and government contract negotiation.  With a focus in intellectual property and as a registered patent attorney, Laurie has worked with high-tech clients including independient investors, start-ups and public companies.  She has advised clients on patent portfolio development and strategies in various technological fields including software, high-performance computing, storage, wireless network devices, e-commerce, cloud computing/SAAS, social media, mobile applications, and computer and video gaming.  

Laurie graduated from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and earned a B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.  Prior to practicing law, Laurie was a Criminalist Intern for the SFPD Crime Labratory.  Contact Laurie at


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U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor

Marc is a trial attorney with the Office of the Solicitor for the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”). Prior to joining DOL, Marc was an associate at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein focusing on antitrust, employment, and qui tam cases.  While at Lieff Cabraser, Marc was part of teams that recovered over $650 million on behalf of consumers, municipalities, and small businesses.  In addition to his work with FBANC, Marc tries to ensure he gives back to the Bay Area community he loves.  He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Oakland Public Ethics Commission and as a director of the ACLU of Northern California.  Marc was a law clerk to the Honorable Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  He received his law degree from the U.C. Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from UCLA.  Contact Marc at


Mari Bandoma Callado

Dolan Law Firm, PC

Mari Bandoma Callado is an associate attorney at Dolan Law Firm PC. Her practice focuses on plaintiff-side employment litigation, including wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Prior to joining Dolan Law Firm PC, Mari represented clients in complex litigation and employment matters. She has represented employees in wage and hour claims, including minimum wage violations, overtime, meal and rest breaks, and classification of employees as exempt and non-exempt. She also worked as a research attorney for the Honorable Judge Stuart Hing in the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda.  During law school, Mari interned with administrative law judges at the EEOC, MSPB and US DOL.  She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and UC Hastings, College of the Law.  Mari formerly served as FBANC's Membership Co-Director, Operations Director and Legal Clinics Director.  She received FBANC’s Raymond L. Ocampo Jr. Family Scholarship in 2011.  Contact Mari at


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Social Security Administration

Vanessa O. Leonardo is an attorney advisor for the Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). Prior to her current position, she provided direct legal services to low-income individuals and families in various areas of law including public benefits, housing, bankruptcy, and consumer law.  She has worked for Bay Area Legal Aid and the Public Law Center.  From 2009 to 2011, Vanessa was an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps legal fellow and provided direct legal services to individuals and families directly affected by the foreclosure crisis.  Vanessa received her J.D. in 2008 from the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law.  She earned her bachelor's degree from U.C. Berkeley.  Contact Vanessa at

A. Jeanne Grove

Goldstein, Gellman, Melbostad, Harris & McSparran, LLP

Jeanne Grove is a litigation partner of G3MH, LLP, which specializes in residential real estate law in the Bay Area.  She handles purchase/sale and nondisclosure disputes, co-ownership, tenant-in-common and homeowners association matters,, title issues, insurance coverage matters, boundary/easement disputes and landlord/tenant cases.  Jeanne is also a licensed real estate broker with the state of California.             

In 2013, Jeanne received the California State Bar Real Property Section Morning Star award for her excellence in leadership in the real property legal community.  In 2012-2014, she served as the American Bar Association Young Lawyer Division District Representative for Northern California, representing 13 affiliates throughout the state.  Jeanne also served as an Adjunct Professor at her law school alma mater, the University of California, Hastings College of Law, teaching legal writing, research and oral advocacy skills to first- and second-year law students.

Jeanne acquired her J.D. at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2004. She received her B.A. in Political Science and French at the University of California at Los Angeles, where she graduated an Alumni Scholar.  Jeanne is currently Co-Chair of the Diversity Section for the Marin County Bar Association and a Board Member of the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California.  

Jeanne lives with her husband and two-year-old son in San Rafael, California, and recently gave birth to her second child.  



Burnham Brown

Katrina is a litigation associate at Burnham Brown. She represents and advises corporate and public entity clients in business and commercial litigation, employment, personal injury, product liability, and premises liability matters. Prior to joining Burnham Brown, Katrina worked at the Office of the County Counsel of Alameda County. During law school, she participated in the International Law program in the Netherlands, Switzerland and France, and interned at Romulo Law in the Philippines. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Santa Clara Law. Prior to law school, Katrina worked in the non-profit sector, in youth development and education. This is Katrina's third year serving on the FBANC Board.  Contact Katrina at


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City of Hayward

Raymond R. Rollan currently serves as a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Hayward. Prior to joining the City, Raymond was an associate attorney at Haapala, Thompson & Abern where he represented clients in insurance defense and public entity defense matters. Prior to joining the firm, Raymond served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Kandis A. Westmore of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Besides his involvement with FBANC, Raymond is an active member of the Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), one of the largest LGBT lawyer organizations in the country. He is also a proud member of the Earl Warren American Inn of Court. Raymond earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. He graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 2014. Raymond received FBANC’s  inaugural Nassiri & Jung Foundation Public Interest Scholarship. This year will be Raymond’s first year on the FBANC board and he is excited to serve his community in this capacity.  Contact Raymond at


Carmelita Miller

Greenlining Institute

Carmelita Miller is Energy Counsel for the Greenlining Institute and she currently works on regulatory proceedings to ensure that all communities have equitable access to the benefits of California's energy policies. She was born in the Philippines and grew up in South San Francisco, California.  She graduated from Sacramento State University where she earned a B.A. in History.  She attended UC Hastings College of the Law where she actively participated in various organizations including serving as the President of the Pilipino American Law Society and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal.  Inspired by her personal experiences, she dedicated her free time in law school to providing legal assistance to the low-income population by interning and volunteering at various community-based organizations. After a graduating from UC Hastings, she became a Greenlining Legal Fellow. When she is not working or fighting for justice, Carmelita, with her fiancé Adam, enjoys cooking, hiking, and playing with her two labrador retrievers named Maximus and Athena.  Contact Carmelita at


A Leonardo

Farmers Insurance Exchange


Angelica O. Leonardo serves as in-house counsel for Farmers Insurance Exchange.  Angelica was previously a deputy public defender and handled a misdemeanor and juvenile caseload.  Angelica is a graduate of UC Davis and Golden Gate University School of Law.  While at GGU Law, Angelica was an active student member in FBANC and received an FBANC scholarship in 2012.  Angelica co-founded the Pilipino American Law Society at GGU and GGU’s very first pre-orientation program, “Connect,” that caters to incoming 1Ls from diverse backgrounds.  Contact Angelica at


Yunah Rha

Black Letter Discovery

Yunah Rha is a Discovery Consultant at Black Letter Discovery (BLD), helping law firms and Fortune 500 companies reduce costs in discovery and providing managed document review solutions. Before joining BLD, Yunah worked as an Associate Attorney at Block & Leviton where her practice focused on antitrust, securities and employment class-actions. She is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and Golden Gate University School of Law. This is Yunah’s second term on the FBANC Board as Social Director. Yunah enjoys dining at traditional Japanese restaurants and breaking a sweat at Bar Method classes during her spare time. 


Nelson Lam

DLA Piper

Nelson Pineda Lam is an associate attorney at DLA Piper, a global law firm. His practice focuses on employment law and commercial litigation. His experience includes breach of contract claims, internal investigations and employment counseling.

Nelson is committed to pro bono work. He has represented a victim of domestic violence and successfully obtained a permanent restraining order against the abuser. He has also represented high school students facing expulsion charges.

Nelson graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law cum laude in May 2015. He earned his B.A. in Political Science (International Relations) and Portuguese at the University of California at Santa Barbara. During law school, he was the President of the Pilipino American Law Society. He was a recipient of the FBANC 2015 Legal Scholarship.  This upcoming year will be Nelson’s first as a Board Member of the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California.  


Jennifer Sta.Ana

Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach / WERC at GGU School of Law

Jennifer Sta.Ana is an attorney with the Alameda County Bar Association’s Bay Area Legal Incubator. She is an incubator attorney at Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach and the Women’s Employment Rights Clinic at Golden Gate University, helping low-wage Filipino workers with labor trafficking and employment claims.

Jennifer graduated in 2015 from USF School of Law, where she was the Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review and was an Advocate of the Year finalist. In 2015, Jennifer served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye of the California Supreme Court.

Jennifer has been dedicated to the Filipino community for years, serving as Co-President of USF’s Pilipino American Law Society, working at the Ateneo Human Rights Center, and obtaining a Master’s from Georgetown in Philippine Studies.  Jennifer is honored to have co-emceed the 2014 FBANC Installment Dinner and to receive FBANC’s Raymond L. Ocampo, Jr. Family Scholarship in 2015.  Contact Jennifer at


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Boornazian, Jensen & Garthe

James de los Reyes is an associate attorney at Boornazian, Jensen & Garthe and focuses on construction defect and general civil litigation.  He recently served as pro bono counsel for Bay Area Legal Aid’s family law clinic and consulted with UC Hastings College of the Law on its appellate advocacy and supplemental bar education programs.  Following law school, James worked on State Assemblymember Rob Bonta’s successful campaign to become the first Filipino-American legislator in California’s history and was an associate with a boutique firm where he represented clients in a variety of complex litigation matters in state and federal court.  He is also a member of the Alameda County Democratic Party and a board member of Operation Dignity, a nonprofit that provides housing and support services to veterans in the Bay Area.  James received his J.D. from UC Hastings and his B.A. from Stanford University.  Contact James at



Law Office of Arthur Barrios


Arthur Barrios is a solo-attorney under the training of the Bay Area Legal Incubator.  He is also a volunteer attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR).  Arthur is involved in the Legal Services for Entrepreneurs project of LCCR.  He provides pro bono transactional legal services to low-income individuals to start or develop businesses.  Before that, Arthur was a bridge fellow for the Alameda County Superior Court.  During law school, Arthur interned for the Superior Court of California and for the Northern District of California.  He is a graduate of Golden Gate School of Law and UC Riverside.  Arthur previously served as Legal Clinics Co-Director.  Contact Arthur at