Alaina Kwasizur serves as General Counsel, AMPAC for Sonos, Inc. focusing on licensing, intellectual property, product, employment, and corporate governance matters. She is an accomplished transactional attorney experienced in handling complex drafting and multi million dollar technology license negotiations. Additionally, Alaina has in-depth experience handling monetization and protection of top consumer-facing brands and other IP assets. She is business minded with a keen sense for quickly identifying the drivers in situations, cultivating strategic relationships, and efficiently solving problems.
Alaina is a registered patent attorney and am licensed by the California and Florida State Bar Associations. She graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. degree in psychology with a pre-med concentration. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami School of Law where I focused on intellectual property and technology law.
Meg serves as Vice President of Legal at Shape Security, a cybersecurity company protecting the world’s largest banks, retailers, airlines, and government agencies against sophisticated fraud and AI-based attacks. Meg is responsible for all aspects of Shape’s legal affairs and compliance activities.
She is licenced by the California State Bar and the Georgia State Bar and got her J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School.
A highly-experienced litigator, Sarah focuses her practice on the defense of discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, as well as claims relating to medical leave issues. In addition, Sarah litigates actions relating to wage and hour issues, unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secrets. Her practice also includes a robust component of counseling, training and policy development; she advises employers on the full range of employment law compliance topics.
Sarah is an Adjunct Professor at Tulane Law School in the Masters of Jurisprudence in Labor and Employment Law program. The program is an online executive masters degree program aimed at human resource professionals and business owners. Sarah designed, created, and teaches a semester-long requisite course on employee medical leaves of absence. She is delighted to teach in this innovative program offered by her alma mater.
Sarah especially enjoys explaining the law and the legal process to non-lawyers. Her experience has been that conflicts in the workplace, and even litigation, can produce positive change within companies if the lawyer handling the matter takes care to listen, adapt to change, and keep the client’s business objectives at the forefront of the strategy at all times.
Stacy Phillips is one of the country’s most well-known and respected family law practitioners, handling primarily high-net-worth and high-profile divorce cases. She has guided clients through critical transitions in their lives for more than 30 years with experience in every facet of family law, including:
Stacy is known for her skilled persuasion, adept negotiation, aggressive advocacy, and compassion in representing her clients, whether in litigation, mediation, or Collaborative Divorce. She is a Certified Family Law Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.
Stacy is a contributing writer, editorial consultant, or commentator for select legal and consumer publications, including:
Flavia Naves is General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Qwil, a financial services company supporting the small business and freelancer community. Prior to her time at Qwil, Flavia worked at different organizations in the SF Bay Area engaging with industries ranging from software licensing and copyrights to entertainment, e-commerce and payments.
Born and raised in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Flavia is active in the local Brazilian community and provides mentoring to young attorneys. She is also a Board member at Instituto Familiar de la Raza, a non-profit in the San Francisco Mission District providing mental health and family services to the Hispanic community. Flavia has lived in the United States since 1999, spending time on the East Coast first and calling San Francisco her home since 2005.
Flavia obtained her legal degree from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais and a certificate of US legal studies from Widener University Commonwealth Law School. She lives in San Francisco with her husband Brad and daughters Giovanna and Isabella, where they enjoy the beach, hiking, and the mountains during the winter.
Li Westerlund is the Vice President of Global IP for the Bavarian Nordic Group and has the operational responsibility to develop, define, implement and enforce the intellectual property strategies of the company. Dr. Westerlund has 25 years of experience predominantly in the sector of intellectual property-patent law, including from both US and Swedish law firms prior to joining Bavarian Nordic in 2004. Her experience includes Junior Judge in Swedish courts and legal intern at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) for the former Chief Judge Paul R. Michel. In 2004, she was appointed Professor of Law at Linkoping University in Sweden and is a prolific author in the legal field with focus on patent law having published several books and dozens of articles in professional journals and anthologies.
Gisu Sadaghiani leads and runs hardware operations across all AR/VR products at Facebook including Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, Oculus Quest, and other unannounced projects. Their technology makes it possible to experience anything, anywhere, through the power of virtual reality.
Previously, she ran strategic supply chain transactions for Annapurna Labs Inc. including high value ODM engagements for Amazon's encrypted, highly customized, original designs; all related logistics, warehousing, and transportation engagements; and world-wide compliance including product, trade, and social responsibility related to their highly regulated, encrypted, hardware and software products.
Annapurna Labs builds custom silicon (chips) and boards (PCBs) for AWS Data Centers and also sells to third parties. Their custom hardware and software are a major differentiating factor for AWS cloud services.
Gisu received her J.D. from University of California, Los Angeles - School of Law.
Laura Reathaford focuses her practice on management-side employment litigation, with an emphasis on wage and hour collective and class actions, including representative actions under the Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”). She represents the management of public and private businesses in the banking, healthcare, telecommunications, and grocery retailer industries, both in California and nationwide.
Laura has litigated a variety of employment disputes, including claims for wrongful termination, sexual harassment, unpaid wages, discrimination, and representing management against union grievances. She is also an experienced trial attorney having received favorable judgments in FLSA and PAGA actions as well as in single plaintiff retaliation matters.
In addition to defending employers in high-stakes litigation matters, Laura regularly advises clients on employment issues, including terminating employees, drafting employee handbooks, and complying with California and federal wage and hour laws, as well as leave and disability rules.
Laura is a prolific author on labor and employment matters and is frequently published in leading legal publications, notably including her feature article, PAGA Performance, in the Los Angeles Lawyer (July 2016). While earning her J.D., Laura was a member of Dalhousie University’s Law Review. She also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Justice Marshall Rothstein, Federal Court of Canada, Trial and Appeal Division.
Amber Solano is an accomplished litigator who represents employers in both the private and public sector in all areas of labor and employment law, including wrongful discharge, wage and hour (including class actions), discrimination/harassment, retaliation, leaves of absences, privacy, and the First Amendment. Ms. Solano handles matters in state and federal courts as well as before various administrative agencies. She has achieved remarkable results for clients in hearings, arbitrations, trials, and appeals.
Ms. Solano also counsels clients on a variety of employment issues, including employee discipline, wage and hour compliance, and adherence to federal and state family and medical leave laws. She regularly drafts employment agreements, employee pay plans, proprietary information agreements, employee handbooks, and other personnel policies.
Ms. Solano has been named a "Southern California Rising Star" every year since 2012 and was included in the list of “Top Women Attorneys in Southern California” by Super Lawyers, a national rating service of exceptional lawyers.
In 2013 and 2014, the Regional Chamber of Commerce, San Gabriel Valley recognized Ms. Solano with the Chairman’s Award for her efforts in educating its membership by providing monthly HR presentations.
Tracy Talbot is a partner in the firm's Commercial Litigation Group, and is chair of the firm's LGBTQ Lawyer's Affinity Group, office leader for Bryan Cave Women, and co-chair of the San Francisco Recruiting Committee. Tracy is deeply committed to increasing diversity in the legal profession, and continuously looks for opportunities to partner with clients to advance that goal.
Tracy is a trial lawyer whose litigation practice includes complex litigation, intellectual property litigation, class action defense, and managing a team of lawyers handling large volume litigation. Tracy has significant experience handling all phases of litigation, including initial case assessment, developing and implementing pre-trial and trial strategy, managing efficient discovery plans, engaging in dispositive motion practice, formulating expert witness strategy, and trying cases to verdict, which Tracy has done numerous times.
Tracy was an integral member of the trial team that received a multi-million dollar jury verdict in a 9-week trial for one of the best known companies in the telecommunications industry, and she was also instrumental in a 3-week jury trial representing a telecommunications company against a shareholder. Tracy's experience encompasses defending clients against claims for intentional interference, unfair competition, noncompete and trade secret misappropriation, negligence, false advertising, and patent infringement, as well as advising and defending clients regarding claims for violations of federal and state lending laws and regulations, including FCRA, TILA, RESPA, RDCPA, and HOBR.
Tracy strives to partner with her clients to help them achieve their legal business objectives by evaluating strategic settlement options, determining whether it makes sense to try a case on the merits, or developing an innovative fee arrangement.
Sabiha Chunawala is Vice President & Deputy General Counsel at Juniper Networks, Inc., the industry leader in network innovation located in Sunnyvale, CA. Sabiha manages the global commercial transactions practice area for Juniper focusing on the creation and negotiation of agreements for the licensing, marketing, support, sale and distribution of Juniper’s products and services and compliance training for the global sales, services and marketing organization
Christina Lai is VP, Corporate Legal Affairs, and Corporate Secretary at Applied Materials, where she leads the team responsible for corporate governance, securities law compliance, and legal support for Applied’s corporate finance transactions, corporate communications, investor relations, executive compensation, and equity and benefit programs. Christina joined Applied from Yahoo!, where she held a variety of corporate governance and securities roles over 11 years, most recently serving as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Corporate Governance. Before starting her in-house legal career, she was an associate with Latham and Watkins in Menlo Park, California. Christina was recognized as one of “Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology” by the California Diversity Council in 2017 and 2018. Christina received her undergraduate degree in international relations from Stanford University and her J.D. from UCLA School of Law.
Nyree is Vice President and Senior Counsel with Amex Bank of Canada. She has a broad range ofexperience in many areas of commercial law with particular expertise inintellectual property, technology, privacy and advertising law. Nyree alsoprovides legal as well as strategic advice on social media policies andinitiatives. Nyree practiced as a technology lawyer with Herbert Smith, aleading international law firm, in London, England from 1998 - 2005. Nyree joined TELUS on her return to Canada in2005 as part of the legal team that supports TELUS’ consumer solutionsportfolio across Canada. In January 2011, Nyree joined the General Counsel'sOffice of Amex Bank of Canada where she advises the Merchant Services lineof business in Canada and advises on efforts in Canada and internationally tosupport digital capabilities for American Express. Nyree holds an honours degree in Geography and French from the University of Guelph and a CPE/LPC (Distinction)from the College of Law, London. She isadmitted as a solicitor in England and Wales (2000) and obtained an LL.M. in Computer and Communications Law from the University of London (2002). Nyree was admitted to the Ontario Bar in2008.
First and foremost, Meghan McMeel is a litigator. She relishes the role of courtroom advocate and approaches every aspect of the job with equal measures of tenacity and common sense. Having entered the field of product liability early in her career, she possesses as much trial experience as many lawyers with considerably more seniority.
Meghan always enjoys taking on new missions and new responsibilities, tackling them with confidence and working hard until every issue is resolved. She has extensive experience advising manufacturers with product-liability issues, successfully defending their products and reporting to government agencies. She has represented large corporations at trial, filing evidentiary motions, preparing witnesses, and arguing motions. She has handled litigation for multiple product manufacturers, including day-to-day litigation, mediation, expert preparation, discovery issues, motion practice, and settlement negotiations.
But she doesn’t stop there. Meghan has experience in intellectual property and employment disputes and advises, investigates, and litigates Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) cases.
Although she’s a tireless advocate, Meghan also believes in the power and value of good-faith negotiation. And while she realizes that the judicious application of a carefully measured amount of whiskey and water may not solve most problems, it never hurts to try.
Laura J. Maechtlen is the National Chair of the Labor and Employment Department at Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Co-Chair of the Firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Team. Her practice is focused on employment litigation and includes the defense of class, collective and multi-plaintiff actions. Laura also has experience litigating against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) in systemic actions, both at the early charge stage and in large-scale EEOC pattern-and-practice litigation. In addition to her litigation practice, Laura also provides day-to-day counseling and advice to clients about the various laws affecting the employment relationship.
Laura is a national leader on issues related to diversity and inclusion in the legal industry, and has held a variety of leadership positions through which she has advocated for systemic improvement in the legal industry in the areas of diversity and inclusion. She currently serves as the Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors for the California Minority Counsel Program, as well as the Executive Committee for Lambda Legal. She is a previous Latina Commissioner for the Hispanic National Bar Association, President of the National LGBT Bar Association, and Fellow for the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD).
Laura speaks and publishes regularly on a variety of employment law and litigation topics, and issues regarding diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, and has been quoted on those topics by the San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Reuters, The Recorder, Vogue, The Daily Journal, the Insurance Journal, CIO.com, Employment Law 360, and others. She has also served as a contributing editor to multiple editions of The Fair Labor Standards Act (ABA) and The Developing Labor Law (BNA).
Sarah Piepmeier is a partner in the San Francisco office and a leader of Kirkland & Ellis’ Bay Area intellectual property litigation practice. Sarah’s practice focuses primarily on patent litigation, but she also has significant experience in trade secret, copyright, trademark, false advertising, anti-trust, technology-related commercial litigation, and constitutional law. Sarah’s cases have involved a variety of technologies and industries, such as semiconductors, wireless standards, relational databases and data aggregation, online video games, social networking, electronic books, anti-virus and encryption software, hard drives, high-voltage switchgears, and various home appliances. Sarah has also achieved successful results for major clients on cutting-edge legal issues relating to standard essential patents and FRAND, and she has significant experience working with German counsel on patent matters before courts in Germany.
Recently, Sarah was recognized by The Recorder as a 2018 Woman Leader in Tech Law, a recognition given to California-based lawyers who practice in the technology industry. Earlier in 2018, Sarah was named one of the Top Women Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal. In addition, Sarah was honored as a Northern California “Super Lawyer” for Intellectual Property Litigation each year from 2013 through 2015. Previously, from 2010 through 2012, she was named a “Rising Star” in Intellectual Property Litigation, a distinction awarded to less than 2.5% of Northern California lawyers under the age of 40. In 2011, Sarah was named a “Best LGBT Attorney Under 40” in the United States by the National LGBT Bar Association.
Sarah’s clients rely on her fifteen years of experience litigating patent and other IP matters across the United States, including dozens of district court cases and more than ten Section 337 Investigations before the International Trade Commission. Sarah has significant first chair experience and routinely leads teams of lawyers, including joint defense groups, in high profile matters from case inception through successful resolution. An accomplished trial lawyer, Sarah has tried more than ten cases in federal district court and before the International Trade Commission.
Prior to joining Kirkland, Sarah was a core member of the team that obtained a landmark decision invalidating California’s Proposition 8 on the grounds that it violates the United States Constitution. Sarah’s work on this case has been profiled and mentioned in corresponding media coverage, as well as in the documentary and book that trace the litigation. Today, Sarah maintains an active pro bono practice that focuses primarily on civil rights litigation. Prior to law school, Sarah spent several years as a complex database designer.
Sarah is a member of the Firmwide Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the LGBT Subcommittee, and the Pro Bono Management Committee. Sarah is also a member of the Bay Area Recruiting Committee and the Bay Area Associate, Paralegal, and Secretarial Review Committees.
Sue Bunnell is a pragmatic and results-focused legal leader. She put her 20+years of experience in technology, IP, security/privacy, and outsourcing to great use when counseling Wells Fargo executive leadership on a wide range of legal, regulatory and administrative functions for its extensive third party service provider population, sustainability and green energy efforts, and diverse corporate properties. She has worked in and around cloud computing, payments processing, renewable energy, AI, distributed ledger/block chain and other innovative fintech solutions.
Ms. Bunnell is an outspoken advocate for professional women, and serve as the Co-Chair of the board of LWT: Advancing Women in Leadership (more at www.LWTleadership.org). She enjoys speaking and facilitating workshops in the Bay Area on effective negotiation and self-advocacy skills, gender equity, personal change management, and talent development.
Nilanka Maldeniya is Assistant General Counsel at AMD’s (Advanced Micro Devices) headquarters in Santa Clara, California. She represents the business in diverse commercial and hardware/software licensing matters and manages the company’s marketing legal function and global trademark portfolio. Prior to AMD, Nilanka was in private practice at the leading Toronto law firms of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP and Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP where she focused on corporate/securities law and commercial/regulatory insurance law, respectively.
Nilanka has authored numerous articles on insurance law matters and previously spoken on the topics of Anti-Bribery and Foreign Corruption Practices and M&A Legal Challenges. She has also been a speaker at Global IP conferences on the topic of Blockchain, and frequently speaks at Women in IP & Leadership Summits on topics ranging from Pay Equity to Self-Advocacy.
Nilanka received her J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada. She is a dual-licensed attorney, being a member of the California Bar as well as of the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Nilanka also moonlights as a children’s book author. She recently released the two series, My Favorite and Riana’s Adventures, for the 4-8 year age group and a couple of standalone titles for toddlers, all of which are available on Amazon and other global etailers and retailers. Learn more at www.nilankamaldeniya.com.
Meryl Macklin is a trial lawyer with over 30 years of experience trying and resolving complex business disputes. Ms. Macklin has served as lead trial counsel for clients ranging from major corporations to small startups in dozens of high-exposure cases in state and federal courts around the country, and regularly practices in both Northern and Southern California. Her trial experience has enabled her to develop targeted litigation strategies even when handling cases likely to settle, avoiding unnecessary and costly motion and discovery practice where possible. Her practice focuses not only on defending companies in litigation but also on counseling clients on ways to quickly resolve disputes. She is a strong team leader, with proven success partnering with clients and other professionals to accomplish results.
She previously served as the Chair of the Litigation Department of legacy firm HRO and a member of legacy firm HRO’s Executive Committee. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Macklin was a partner at law firms in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.
Ms. Macklin is a member of the Northern District of California Mediation Panel and serves as mediator for all types of commercial disputes. She attended mediation training at the Harvard Negotiation Project.
SHARMINI GREEN has 23 years of experience as a patent attorney specializing in computer software, the past 17.5 years as an in-house attorney with Intel. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and received her J.D. from Santa Clara University. Sharmini is currently one of the Deputy Directors of Patents in the Intel Patent Group. In this role, she defines and executes patent filing strategies for Intel’s new and cutting edge technologies such as Internet of Things, autonomous driving, drones, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. She also oversees various aspects of Intel’s global patent portfolio management including cost management and law firm management. Sharmini is an active member of Intel’s Diversity & Inclusion team – her focus has been mainly directed to Intel’s efforts to help their law firms hire, retain and promote women and underrepresented minorities.
Prior to law school, Sharmini worked at Oracle Corporation for 6.5 years in various engineering and engineering management roles, focused primarily on Oracle’s PC products and networking tools. After law school and prior to joining Intel, Sharmini worked at a number of Silicon Valley and Southern California law firms, handling patent prosecution, patent litigation as well as intellectual property related contract negotiations and drafting.
Laurie Carr Mims has extensive experience litigating complex civil matters, including securities class actions and shareholder derivative actions. She has tried a variety of cases, including several as first chair. While Ms. Mims has represented institutional and individual clients from a wide range of industries, most of her clients are in the biotechnology and venture capital fields. She has also handled high-stakes matters involving the False Claims Act, breach of contract, fraud, trade secret theft, and copyright infringement, and has defended individuals in DOJ investigations and prosecutions.
Ms. Mims also has an active pro bono practice, through which she has represented indigent clients in criminal trials and habeas proceedings. In 2006, she won a habeas petition on behalf of a Three-Strikes defendant who had served ten years of a twenty five years-to-life sentence. After the client was granted a new trial, she and partner Elliot Peters convinced a Kern County judge to dismiss one of the strikes and release the client the same day with a time-served sentence.
Shauna serves as Director of Legal at Collective Health, a healthcare technology company helping organizations and their people understand, navigate, and pay for healthcare. Shauna manages the legal team tackling healthcare regulatory, privacy, IP, commercial, and corporate matters. Prior to joining Collective Health, Shauna counseled early- and late-stage and public companies on a variety of legal areas from corporate to product law at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in San Francisco, CA and Alston & Bird in Washington, D.C. Prior to her legal career, Shauna lived in the Middle East where she fostered private diplomatic relationships at Abercrombie & Kent in Cairo, Egypt and started a community center for women and children in Nablus, Palestine. Shauna has previously spoken on the topics of the relationship between legal and design, start-ups and IP, and women and leadership.
She is licensed by the California State Bar and got her J.D. from George Washington University Law School.
Jennifer Miller serves as General Counsel at Loon, an Alphabet company, where she leads the worldwide legal, regulatory, policy and compliance teams. Selected as 2017 Corporate Counsel of the Year by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, she scales companies by building talented teams, promoting collaboration, closing deals and implementing practical legal processes with a keen eye toward accelerating worldwide business growth.
Rachel Adcox is a standout amongst antitrust practitioners, whether leading clients through complex multidistrict litigation cases or negotiating successful resolutions to criminal and civil matters. Prior to joining Axinn, Rachel was a Trial Attorney at the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Rachel's work in groundbreaking litigation demonstrates the trust that her clients place in her skill and judgment. Her unique combination of government and defense-side experience allows her to assist clients with a full range of antitrust issues, including corporate counseling, mergers, internal investigations, civil non-merger and criminal cartel investigations and litigation. In each of these areas, Rachel is known for providing practical options for her clients based on their specialized needs and business goals. Currently, Rachel is notable for her representation of multiple defendants in the Auto Parts class action multidistrict litigation and her representation of Independence Blue Cross in the largest class action case in the U.S.
Behind the scenes, Rachel is a trusted confidential adviser and advocate in international cartel and compliance matters before international enforcers such as the Department of Justice, the European Commission, the Canadian Competition Bureau, and the Japan Fair Trade Commission.
Navigating and complying with the technical and complicated employment laws in California is downright challenging. Rhonda helps employers find cost-effective solutions to day-to-day employment problems to reduce the risk of litigation.
Sometimes, however, litigation is unavoidable. In those circumstances, Rhonda is an aggressive litigator who will help clients make an early assessment of the risks and exposure in the case to find the best possible resolution ranging from early settlement to, if necessary, trial.
Rhonda specializes in employment litigation, advice and counseling, and representing employers in a wide variety of issues arising within the employer/employee relationship. Rhonda counsels employers on internal harassment and discrimination investigations and presents on-site seminars for clients on sexual harassment, disability accommodation, medical leaves, wage and hour compliance, and related issues. Rhonda also has experience litigating employment claims ( including class actions).
Rhonda is very active in a number of professional associations. She is currently a member of the American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, and the Business Law Section. She is also a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco and a former member of the Judicial Evaluation Committee. She has been a panelist at a number of seminars and programs organized by such associations as the Continuing Education of the Bar, Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada, Minority Corporate Counsel Association and the American Bar Association.
Rhonda is actively involved in the community and has served on a variety of non-profit boards, including, Equal Rights Advocates, Julia Morgan School for Girls, San Francisco Girls Chorus and East Bay Rowing Club.
Rhonda has been voted Super Lawyer 2009-2017 in the area of Employment & Labor; Rated AV Preeminent 1997 – 2017 and selected for an edition of Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers,™ 2013-2017.
Laura Bushnell is a partner in our Corporate, Finance and Investments practice who specializes in counseling management and Boards of Directors of private and public companies, particularly in the life sciences and technology sectors, on capital raising matters, strategic transactions and corporate governance.
Laura has represented issuers, investors and financial institutions in numerous capital-raising transactions, including venture capital and seed financings, crossover rounds, strategic investments, initial public offerings, follow-on and secondary offerings, recapitalizations and PIPE financings.
In addition, Laura frequently serves as primary outside counsel to emerging growth companies. In this capacity, she advises management on such matters as corporate governance, disclosure and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting obligations, employment and equity compensation, fiduciary duties, strategic transactions and acquisitions, commercial agreements, and compliance with securities laws.
She is a regular speaker on a range of transactional and governance topics.
She serves on the Board of Trustees of the UC Santa Cruz Foundation and the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County. She is a member of the Dean's Advisory Council of the Jack Baskin School of Engineering, University of California Santa Cruz.
An accomplished and confident strategist and litigator, Kate Stimeling doesn’t waste time equivocating, euphemizing or waltzing around. She’s a straight talker who likes to get to the point, although she knows how to navigate her way there using empathy and intelligence. She starts working early in the process, coordinating discovery, vetting experts, identifying resources, and crafting motions that are designed to increase efficiency and minimize risk.
In the boardroom, Kate is committed to developing effective, cutting-edge legal strategies. In the courtroom, she practices the art of putting people at ease and building trust by explaining complex legal concepts in simple, understandable terms. She is equally adept at managing and conducting internal investigations of discrimination and other employment claims.
Kate has experience in the areas of product liability, toxic and mass tort, catastrophic personal injury, juvenile law and employment law. The clients and industries she has represented include chemical manufacturers, food distribution companies, transportation and consumer product and equipment manufacturers. She has served as outside counsel for a national food distribution company in 13 jurisdictions and has handled cases involving food poisoning, personal injury, breach of contract claims and trucking-related litigation.
Ali is a partner in the firm's Financial Services Litigation Department. Ali’s practice focuses on financial services litigation, complex commercial cases and trust and estate disputes. She successfully advocates for her clients at all stages of litigation including taking and defending depositions, drafting and arguing dispositive motions, navigating complex e-discovery issues, handling high-stakes settlement negotiations, and preparing for and taking matters to trial, as well as post-trial work if necessary. Ali has defended numerous class actions and multi-district litigation, involving all phases of class action litigation including e-discovery, class certification and class settlement. Ali has litigated numerous cases which triggered application of Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code. Ali also recently successfully defended against a challenge to her client’s $18 million estate plan – which persisted up until the literal eve of trial. That defense included defending against three separate lawsuits and two appeals and resulted in a $500,000+ award of fees and costs back to the client.
Ali has additional experience assisting clients in trust and estate litigation matters involving undue influence allegations, accounting disputes, life estate valuations, inter-family disputes over distribution of assets, special trustee’s fiduciary duties in administering family trust worth over $100 million, trustee’s fiduciary duties under Hawaii law in administering family trust worth over $30 million with properties in Hawaii and California. Additionally, Ali has significant pro bono experience litigating asylum and prisoner rights' cases.
Ali served as a law clerk to the Honorable William Alsup of the U.S. District Court of Northern District of California.
McGuireWoods partner Carolee Hoover represents financial institutions in single plaintiff, class action, and multidistrict consumer finance litigation nationwide in matters relating to automobile and mortgage loans, deposit accounts, and related servicing. She defends alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, RICO, the Bank Holding Company Act, and state UDAP statutes. Additionally, Carolee handles complex commercial litigation and antitrust price-fixing matters as well.
Kristin Walker-Probst is an experienced trial attorney, having tried well over 100 cases. An expert in evidence and juries, she is adept at case workup, settlement, and trials for a wide variety of cases.
Kristin Walker-Probst joined Severson & Werson’s Southern California office in 2004 after a career as a prosecutor with both the Riverside and Los Angeles County District Attorneys’ Offices. She now focuses her practice on civil trials, including case workup settlement, and trial. Ms. Walker-Probst is an experienced trial lawyer and civil litigator. Since 1999, she has tried well over 100 cases, including approximately 60 jury trials and 75 bench trials/juvenile adjudications. Ms. Walker-Probst has examined and counseled thousands of witnesses in a variety of courtroom hearings. She routinely takes and defends depositions – both expert and non-expert. Additionally, she is an adjunct Trial Advocacy Professor at Loyola Law School, where she teaches in the area of trial skills and Evidence. She also has prior experience as an adjunct professor in Evidence and she has coached Loyola Law School’s Byrne Trial Team at various times since 2000. With a focus on trial work, Ms. Walker-Probst’s litigation background is broad, including financial services litigation (bank operations, automobile finance, mortgage, and real estate), personal injury litigation, general business litigation, and labor and employment. Regarding her labor and employment practice, Ms. Walker-Probst presents both on and off-site seminars for clients on sexual harassment, discrimination, and related issues. She routinely deposes Plaintiffs and handles all aspects of litigation – from case inception through trial.Ms. Walker-Probst is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA), the California Banker’s Association (CBA), the Mortgage Banker’s Association (MBA), the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (OCTLA) and both the Orange County and San Francisco Bar Associations.
Betsy Carroll represents clients in state and federal courts on matters related to discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, breach of contract, criminal background investigations, and other employment-related claims. She has won summary judgments and argued before a jury in a harassment case that resulted in a unanimous defense verdict for her client. Betsy also has resolved employment disputes before the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, as well as through negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. She also guides clients through investigations by administrative agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), DFEH, and others.
In her counseling practice, Betsy also helps employers comply with wage and hour laws, prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and manage other sensitive employment topics such as workforce reductions, accommodations, privacy rights and performance reviews. She provides tailored training for employers on topics including sexual harassment prevention and conducting internal investigations.
Betsy provides employment law support in corporate transactional matters, particularly for high-profile companies in the hospitality, consumer products, and technology industries. She conducts due diligence reviews of employment policies and records, drafts employment agreements that meet business goals and at the same time comply with state and federal employment laws, and helps prepare merger agreements.
Christiane A. Roussell is a career-long employment attorney and human resources authority who advises and represents companies at every stage of their life cycle, from startups and emerging companies to mature public and private companies. She has experience as outside counsel for employers in various industries and in-house for employers in the technology and entertainment industries. Christiane provides human resources and employment-related counseling and training to employers on a wide variety of issues, including recruiting, hiring, performance management, discipline, transfers, medical-related accommodations, leaves of absence, wage and hour compliance, contingent labor, reductions in force, and workplace violence. She also conducts workplace investigations and audits of workplace policies and procedures.
In her litigation practice, Christiane represents employers in complex and single-plaintiff labor and employment matters, including wage and hour class and collective actions, and litigation of claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, employee raiding, and trade secrets. She has extensive experience in state and federal courts and administrative agencies throughout California, arbitration, private mediation, judicial settlement conferences, and pre-litigation negotiations.