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.
Rita Bojalian, is Senior Counsel, Business Unit Attorney for the Neuromodulation division of Boston Scientific. She is the communications lead on the Diversity and Inclusion Council of the company’s Legal and Compliance Department.
She began her career as an attorney in 1997 at a law firm handling business litigation matters. She first-chaired three bench trials before specializing in employment litigation defense. During that time, she coauthored a book entitled “The Book of Human Resources Forms” to assist human resources professionals with compliant day-to-day employment documentation.
After developing an interest in the entertainment law field, she went back to school for an LL.M. degree in Entertainment and Media law. She worked in house at CBS Television for two and a half years as an advice and counsel lawyer for employment matters.
She also spent 6 years working as Associate General Counsel and Director of Trade Secret Protection and Investigations for St. Jude Medical’s Cardiac Rhythm Management Division, which was later acquired by Abbott. While there, she managed the litigation in the Nervicon case, which resulted in one of the largest trade secret theft verdicts ever awarded by a jury ($2.3 billion) and was ranked on Bloomberg’s list of largest trade secret verdicts.
She has also volunteered for many organizations such as the Real Medicine Foundation, which is a non-profit that helps children around the world, as a board member for WiSH Education Foundation that helps Santa Clarita schools, and as a board member of Glendale Memorial Hospital Foundation.
She earned her undergraduate degree in business from the University of Southern California and her J.D. and LL.M. degrees from Southwestern.
Genevieve most recently served as Petco’s Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, responsible for overseeing all legal, corporate governance and regulatory affairs for Petco. Prior to joining Petco, she served as Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Dole Food Company, Inc. Genevieve also previously worked as counsel to the global investment bank, Houlihan Lokey, international corporations Occidental Petroleum Corporation and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, and as a corporate attorney for the international law firms Sidley Austin LLP and McDermott Will & Emery.
Genevieve is both a Fulbright and Rotary Scholar. She holds a magna cum laude bachelor’s degree in English literature and organizational behavior and management from Brown University; a magna cum laude master’s degree in European studies and magna cum laude master of laws degree in EU law from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium; and a cum laude juris doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center. Since December 2016, she has also been designated a Board Leadership Fellow by the National Association of Corporate Directors.
Accomplished in-house corporate attorney with diverse and broad range of skills, including corporate governance, debt and equity financing, securities and mergers and acquisitions. Confident and poised legal professional with extensive experience advising business partners and leaders at all levels of the organization.
Yumna Daimee is a Director at Equinix in its Commercial Transactions Legal Department. She leads a team that handles a range of commercial and technological transactions and negotiations for Equinix customers & partners in the central-west regions of the US. Yumna has previously worked in-house at other Silicon Valley technology companies in structuring, negotiating and closing deals. Previously, Yumna has sat on the board of a local minority bar association, and has spent her spare time volunteering and raising funds for local, domestic and international charity and civil rights causes. Yumna received her J.D. from Southwestern School of Law, and her B.A. from UC Berkeley, and is licensed to practice law in California.
Jackie Park focuses her practice on commercial leasing transactions.
Jackie has handled extensive leasing transactions for landlords as well as for tenants in office, retail and industrial settings. Her representation of landlords includes institutional landlords in office buildings and retail shopping centers, including The Ratkovich Company, Maguire Partners, The Prudential Insurance Company, Rising Realty Partners and PacShore Partners. Her representation of tenants includes financial institutions, entertainment companies and retail entities, including ongoing representation of Capitol Records and AECOM Technology Corporation.
Jackie is extremely active within DLA Piper, where she is the Co-Managing Partner of the Los Angeles offices, a member of the firm's Executive and Policy Commitees, Co-Vice Chair of the National Real Estate Practice Group and serves on the firm's Partnership Nomination Committee. She is also a representative to DLA Piper's Leadership Alliance for Women (LAW).
Sanjesh Sharma is Senior IP Counsel at Johnson & Johnson Vision, where she manages all aspects of intellectual property for the company’s Refractive Surgery and Laser Cataract Surgery product lines, including managing domestic and international patent portfolios, litigation support, opposition practice, product clearances, due diligence for asset acquisitions and licensing, as well as copyright and trademark compliance. Before moving in-house, she worked at various national and global law firms, focusing mainly on patent and trademark litigation, licensing, due diligence, and counseling involving a wide range of technologies, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and consumer electronics.
Sanjesh received her undergraduate degree in Microbiology from University of California, San Diego, and her law degree from Loyola Law School. She currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Patent Interest Group for the IP Section of the California State Bar. She regularly speaks on patents and in-house practice, and has been named Rising Star in Intellectual Property by Super Lawyers.
Farah Bhatti is a Shareholder and the Chair of the Internet, E-Commerce, and Social Media Practice Group. She focuses her practice on all aspects of trademark prosecution, including advising, counseling, and securing trademark protection for clients, with an emphasis on the worldwide selection and enforcement of trademarks. She also works closely with clients in formulating their domestic and international trademark protection and registration strategies. Ms. Bhatti expertly navigates the complexities of issues within the areas of registration and enforcement, drawing on experience in private practice as well as her previous position as a trademark examining attorney at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). While there, she examined more than 2,000 trademark applications and represented the USPTO before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). She also has extensive experience in the enforcement of Internet and domain names, through the implementation of strategies ranging from cease and desist letters, Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) complaints, individual website complaint procedures and even trademark litigation under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). Ms. Bhatti has been successful in obtaining substantial statutory damages and attorneys’ fees on behalf of clients under the ACPA.
Ms. Bhatti frequently speaks on the topic of trademark protection at seminars, including those geared toward the fashion industry. She previously served as a member for the INTA Internet Committee.
Theresa Conduah is Vice President, Intellectual Property at dosist. Ms. Conduah is responsible for developing and implementing the company’s global intellectual property strategy, overseeing enforcement and anti-counterfeiting activities, and negotiating and drafting license and sponsorship agreements. Prior to joining dosist, Ms. Conduah was Managing Counsel at Toyota Motor North America, Inc. and IP Counsel at United Airlines. She was also previously in private practice and counseled clients on intellectual property litigation and portfolio management matters. Ms. Conduah has a passion for pro bono work and represents clients on immigration matters. She is committed to mentoring the careers of women and minorities and is a Leadership Council on Legal Diversity fellow.
Ms. Conduah earned her law degree from Fordham University School of Law, a graduate degree from Johns Hopkins University, and an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.
Terri Durham is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Activision Blizzard. She was the General Counsel of Vivendi Games prior to the merger between Activision and Vivendi Games in 2008. Terri was the head of legal affairs at MP3.com when the company was acquired by Vivendi in 2001. She stayed on to run legal affairs for Vivendi’s internet companies and to oversee their US litigation from 2001 to 2004 when she transitioned to Vivendi Games. Terri was a partner at Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich (now part of DLA Piper) before she went in-house. She did her undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and received her JD from Emory Law School in Atlanta.
Upon passing the bar in 2015, Nadine joined MUFG Union Bank’s Strategic Sourcing department, where she was responsible for negotiating third-party vendor contracts on behalf of various business units within the bank. In her role, she conducted contract negotiations, working in tandem with various subject matter experts, and performed market research and analysis while conducting strategic sourcing events. In 2018, she transitioned to the bank’s legal department, supporting the Transaction Banking line of business. This line of business focuses on offering commercial banking products and services to corporate and non-corporate customers to assist them with managing their working capital and liquidity needs. As a legal associate, Nadine provides day-to-day legal guidance on bank operations questions, drafts and negotiates various types of internal and customer-facing commercial agreements, and leads/co-leads initiatives to develop or modify processes, forms, and agreements.
Emily, who serves as the firm's Los Angeles Office Managing Partner, counsels small to mid-sized businesses in a variety of industries including technology, consumer products, manufacturing, food and beverage, construction and professional services industries on a variety of complex transactional matters.
She handles business formation, planning and restructuring and works with startups on strategy and early-stage funding as well as with existing companies on growth and acquisition financing. Emily also handles mergers, acquisitions and other general commercial transactions and provides advice on corporate governance matters. She serves as outside general counsel to a number of clients, advising on day-to-day legal matters.
Additionally, Emily advises venture and angel capital investors on due diligence, negotiation of investment documents and other matters.
Naveen represents and counsels clients in connection with a wide variety of employment issues. Her practice focuses on litigating individual, collective and class actions in the wage and hour context, as well as discrimination and retaliation claims under federal, state and local laws.
In addition, Naveen regularly advises clients on a variety of workplace issues, including:
Naveen regularly appears before state and federal courts and administrative agencies and represents clients in administrative hearings, arbitrations, mediations, depositions, expert depositions and trials. She has particular knowledge of claims arising under:
Kate Gold is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department in the Los Angeles office.
Kate has over 25 years of experience representing clients in a range of industries, across all areas of employment law. An experienced litigator, she has represented clients in all types of employment-related suits, including class and collective actions, discrimination, retaliation and harassment, non-compete and wage/hour matters. In addition to litigating, she conducts high-level workplace investigations and routinely counsels clients on matters involving the full range of state and federal employment issues.
Kate also represents clients in disputes involving misappropriation of intellectual property and trade secrets, interference with contract, and unfair competition. Kate also counsels on classification of employees, employment issues in the context of purchase and sale of businesses, and non-competition agreements. Additionally, she negotiates and drafts executive employment and separation agreements and conducts training on sexual harassment prevention.
Kate received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mira Wolff is Chief Human Resources Officer and General Counsel for Venbrook Group, LLC. Venbrook operates a portfolio of privately held insurance organizations engaged in the the major insurance marketplace platforms including: retail brokerage, wholesale and MGA, underwriting, reinsurance, and third party claims administration. In this role, Mira has management responsibility for Human Resources, Legal, Facilities and Administration and is responsible for upgrading the Human Resources and Legal infrastructure to support growth through acquisitions while creating and implementing programs to support a great company culture.
Mira’s 28 year career includes a wealth of experience as both a human resources executive and legal counsel. Prior to joining Venbrook, Mira served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Legal for Confie Seguros, a nationwide insurance distribution company (known for the brand name “Freeway Insurance”). Other prior roles have included Head of HR positions for two Software/Technology companies, Senior Director of HR and Senior Counsel- Litigation and Employment for online retailer Newegg.com, in addition to In House Counsel and HR roles with two national retail mortgage lender and brokerage companies.
During her tenure at Confie, Mira was responsible for leading and building nationwide and international Human Resources (US and Mexico), leading and building the company’s first full service in-house Legal Department and Talent Acquisition Departments, and growing the Payroll Department to accommodate 23 employer subsidiaries. Mira was instrumental in helping Confie to grow from 1500 to 4500 employees while supporting over 80 acquisitions through due diligence and integration. Other major accomplishments included: Sales Recruiting Pilot Program, Leadership Training Program in Tijuana; Supervisor 101 training for district and branch managers nationwide; member of the Quality Initiative Team that created the WE CARE philosophy, programs, and annual awards; and implementation of a goal and metric based Performance Management Program.
Mira earned a Juris Doctorate from Southwestern Law School and a Bachelor’s Degree (Theatre Arts) and Human Resources Management Certificate from California State University, Long Beach.
Lael Vaughn is the associate general counsel at BSH Home Appliances Corporation. She directs the employment, compliance and risk management functions for the US. She serves as the Compliance Officer for BSH’s US corporate entity and advises management on a wide range of legal and compliance issues relating to regulatory and corporate compliance, employment and labor law, corporate governance, internal controls, and risk management. Additional responsibilities include commercial law and complex transactions. She interacts with senior management, with all business units of the company, and with key external stakeholders. She also serves as the US entity’s Data Privacy Officer, maintaining responsibility to advise senior management and work with all business units to assure compliant product development and marketing activities. Lael enjoys focusing on understanding the business objectives of the executives, and developing streamlined processes and tools within the legal department that enable the lean legal team to more quickly respond to inquiries and be agile in responding as circumstances and business terms change.
Lael draws on her prior experiences as an entertainment attorney, then a partner at a firm handling complex and coordinated litigation for pharmaceutical and consumer products companies to problem solve and find pragmatic solutions that can be easily communicated to and implemented by the business. When first moving in house, Lael was the director of legal affairs at St. John Knits, Inc. where she partnered with business executives and employees at all levels of the corporation in handling a wide range of matters, including litigation, labor and employment, ecommerce, design and manufacturing, retail and information technology.
Catrice Monson is a people-first leader and lifelong advocate. Her creative spirit inspires her to experiment with roles, projects, and challenges to reach innovative solutions and ways of working. Marrying traditional D&I initiatives and change-management strategies, Catrice is an expert at imagining, designing, and building fresh work environments where employees are empowered and encouraged to share their unique and broad perspectives.
Currently she is a Senior Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion at CBS Corporation where she facilitates engagement – internally and externally – on company wide diversity and inclusion programs, spearheads the west coast based components of the Corporation’s multi-cultural and women’s employee resource groups, and oversees the CBS Corporation Diversity Council and is expanding its impact through activities and outreach. A trusted thought-leader, she is often asked to speak and train individuals and teams on unconscious bias and D&I best practices across CBS and beyond.
Prior to her current role, she worked in the CBS Labor Relations Department from 2000-2016, most recently as Senior Vice President, Labor Relations. In that role Catrice represented CBS in negotiations with various entertainment unions and guilds as well as the labor relations department in meetings with the guilds and unions on issues related to diversity and increasing access. When she was presented with the opportunity to pivot towards a career focussed on amplifying diverse perspectives, she jumped at the role.
Her commitment to creating a more equitable world extends far beyond her role at CBS. Catrice is the Executive Director of CAM (Community Academics Mentoring) – a foundation that provides financial assistance for underserved students and she served on the Board of Trustees for the Archer School for Girls for 8 years. In addition, she currently partners with Advancing Women Executives to accelerate the careers of women to improve the global economy and in the spring of 2019, she will be starting as an adjunct professor at UCLA School of Law.
When she is not in the office, Catrice can be found traveling, going to the movies, spending time with her friends and family, or growing her passion project, Sweetness and Delight – a business centered on event styling, sweet tables, and party favors.
Catrice completed her BA in American Studies from Stanford University before going on to graduate from the UCLA School of Law.
During her many years specializing in appeals at GMSR, Cindy Tobisman has briefed and argued virtually every type of civil case. The only constants are her deep knowledge of appellate practice, her rigorous research, her careful record review, her creativity and her top-notch writing skills.
Cindy’s excellence as an appellate attorney has been repeatedly recognized—she has been named a “Rising Star” in Appeals by Super Lawyers five times and has been regularly included on the Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers‘ list of top appellate attorneys. She received the President’s Award from the Beverly Hills Bar Association for her work on amicus briefs in the California Supreme Court on appellate issues of public interest.
Cindy graduated Phi Beta Kappa from U.C. Berkeley in 1992, and was also named the top graduate in her department (Rhetoric). She subsequently attended U.C. Berkeley School of Law (J.D., 1998), serving on the prestigious Moot Court Board, focused on appellate advocacy. She has sat on the Board of Governors of the Beverly Hills Bar Association and has chaired the Association’s Amicus Briefs Committee.
In addition to practicing law, Cindy is a traditionally-published novelist.
Christianne Kerns is the Managing Partner of Hahn & Hahn LLP, a full service law firm based in Southern California. In addition, she currently sits on the Boards of Five Acres (Board Chair 2018-2020; Board 2013 to present) and the Hastings Foundation (2019 to present). She previously sat on the Board of Villa Esperanza Services (2002-2008) and the Commission leading Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (2001-2005).
As Managing Partner of Hahn & Hahn, she provides strategic leadership, direction, business development and operational responsibility with dedication and integrity. Responsibilities include hiring and management issues, partnership issues, branding and business development efforts, all aspects of finance, accounting and budgeting, and developing and strategically overseeing implementation of Risk Management and Human Resources policies and processes. Her experience includes organizational/strategic planning and direction, consensus building, decisive problem solving, strategic advice and counsel and financial acumen.
With more than 30 years of experience as a business lawyer, her legal representation focuses primarily in the areas of real estate, finance and general business matters. She is a trusted Board Member and Advisor to boards of directors, equity holders, and C-suite executives with a track record of identifying and effectively addressing strategic and operational challenges with the overarching goal of optimizing results, value, and return on investment. Expertise includes Board Governance and organizational structuring. She is skilled at calmly assessing a wide range of complex data, goals, points of view, and ideas from a wide range of stakeholders to help executive teams create solutions to business challenges.
Chris was named as one of Los Angeles' most influential female lawyers by the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2018 and 2019.
Chris earned her J.D. at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, and completed Harvard Business School's Women on Boards: Succeeding as a Corporate Director Program. She lives in Pasadena, California, with her husband Charlie; they have two adult children.
Jennifer Awrey is the Director of Staff Relations for Amgen Inc. In her position, she leads a team of 18 people, including Amgen’s HR Investigations team, and HR professionals who advise on performance management, terminations, accommodations, and conduct investigations into misconduct. Her team partners closely with Amgen’s Compliance and Legal departments on cross-functional issues and investigations. She also serves as Amgen’s Ombudsperson and is responsible for maintaining Amgen’s global and domestic HR policies. Previously at Amgen, she was the lead employment law attorney for the Global Commercial Organization and advised on all aspects of employment law including compensation, discrimination and harassment, and equal pay. Prior to joining Amgen, she practiced employment litigation in big law firms for approximately ten years. Jennifer graduated with a B.A. from the University of Washington, and she earned a J.D. and an LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from Cornell University.
Susan is a passionate and engaging speaker on diverse topics including negotiation, effective communication, female empowerment, and overcoming obstacles.
With 20 years’ experience negotiating billions of dollars in transactions on behalf of major U.S. companies, Susan is a strategic and seasoned negotiator who leverages the power of effective communication on behalf of her clients. Susan is a graduate of Duke University School of Law, and holds both a Juris Doctorate and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree. Susan started her legal career in 1998 as a corporate associate at international mega firm Clifford Chance in New York. After five formative years in BigLaw, she transitioned in-house to her storied client, Hearst, to work in the entertainment space. After moving to the West Coast for love, Susan joined her present company, Fox, in 2011. As Associate General Counsel & Senior Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs, she manages the strategic relationship between the FOX network and its broadcast affiliate partners nationwide.
As Co-Chair of Women@FOX and founder of The Soeurs Project, Susan is passionate about inspiring and equipping women with the tools and information they need to reach their highest potential.
Scott Hampton is the Vice-President & General Counsel of fashion retailer Forever 21. He oversees their domestic and international legal operations, including intellectual property, product compliance, labor & employment, customs & international trade, real estate litigation, as well as marketing & privacy. The company, known for its trendy and affordable clothing and accessories, started in 1984 with one 900 square foot store on Figueroa Street in Highland Park. Since then, it has grown into a multi-billion dollar enterprise with over 500 stores, and over 25,000 employees, in dozens of countries worldwide. It is now headquartered on a 36 acre campus in the Lincoln Heights section of Los Angeles, near Dodger Stadium.
Prior to working at Forever 21, Mr. Hampton was in charge of all litigation at online retailer Newegg.com, where he helped combat patent “trolls” (entities that use older patents as weapons in litigation to extort money from businesses) with aggressive tactics, and he and the legal team obtained victories at trial in federal court and in the Court of Appeals. Before Newegg, Mr. Hampton was an IP/business litigator for over 20 years at two law firms in the Los Angeles area.
Shae Harvey is a Senior Attorney with Southern California Edison Company (SCE) in the Power Procurement Section. Her practice primarily focuses on providing advice in the area of transactional procurement of electric energy and related ancillary products. Ms. Harvey has over 20 years of combined in-house and law firm experience in power procurement, supply chain, project construction and management, project finance, regulatory compliance, and real estate matters in the energy and utility sectors. In 2018, Ms. Harvey was named as a Fellow with The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. Ms. Harvey has also served as the Chair of SCE Law Department’s Diversity Committee where she headed SCE’s Street Law program. Ms. Harvey clerked for the Hon. Kenneth M. Hoyt in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Currently, Ms. Harvey serves as on the Board of Directors with the John M. Langston Bar Association of Los Angeles, where she is the Co-Chair of the In-House Counsel Committee. She is also an Adjunct Professor at USC Gould School of Law. Throughout Ms. Harvey’s legal career, she has actively participated in pro bono activities within the legal community. Her pro bono work has included providing legal advice to 501(c)(3) organizations in the areas of obtaining tax exempt status, corporation formation, and general corporate governance. She recently founded the non-profit organization Bishop’s Retreat, which will be a group home dedicated to providing housing and services to youth aging out of the foster care system.
Ms. Harvey is the mother of five daughters: Sophia, Leya, Lovesphere (“Lovey”), Nuri and Sakinah. In her spare time, Ms. Harvey enjoys farming with her daughters.
Ellie Trope joined Integra Beauty, Inc., a consumer products company and brand incubator in May, 2019. Prior to that Ellie was Vice President, Legal Affairs at Legend 3D, Inc., a virtual reality, 3D visual effects and conversion company based in Los Angeles.
Ellie came to Legend after ten years at MGA Entertainment, Inc. a children’s consumer products and entertainment company, where she was general counsel. She advises on a wide range of issues related to the consumer products business, including operations matters, strategic issues, risk management, human resources, intellectual property management, licensing, and generally keeping everyone out of trouble.
Paul Krause is an Assistant General Counsel at Harley-Davidson, Inc. in Milwaukee, WI. At the time of this submission, he was serving as Interim Chief Legal Officer and Interim Chief Compliance Officer of HDI. Prior to joining Harley-Davidson, Paul spent twelve years in Chicago working as in-house counsel at ArcelorMittal USA and at the law firm of Littler Mendelson. Paul graduated from Marquette University Law School in 2004. He currently lives in the Milwaukee suburbs with his wife, Elena, and two children, Sammie (4) and Ben (1½).
Arameh is a product liability litigator who represents companies in a variety of industries including cosmetic, personal care products, medical device, pharmaceutical, retail, and electronics. She counsels manufacturers on issues arising throughout a product’s life cycle, including product labeling and marketing, risk assessment and prevention strategies, as well as corrective actions and recalls. In addition, Arameh represents companies in high-profile litigation and has extensive experience managing and coordinating complex class action and multidistrict litigation.
Arameh’s clients regard her as strategic and creative; they trust her commonsense approach to problem-solving and appreciate her ability to resolve disputes efficiently. Arameh is also deeply protective of her clients’ brand and business interests and leverages her knowledge of the legal and industry landscapes to help clients succeed.
She has been an integral part of numerous trial teams defending pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in mass tort litigation throughout the country. She also has significant experience effectively streamlining and coordinating mass tort litigation on a national, regional, and statewide level. This includes cultivating creative and compelling defense trial themes; training national trial teams; leading teams of local attorneys in consistent and aggressive national defense strategies; analyzing comprehensive case-specific data to facilitate global assessment; implementing document management protocols and litigation holds; identifying, developing, and presenting defense experts; and preparing company witnesses for testimony. Her unique ability to connect with witnesses and translate complex issues into persuasive, concise narratives makes her indispensable in bet-the-company litigation.
Ako Williams is Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Ushio America, Inc., in Cypress, California. Ushio America is a leading provider of light sources and solutions for a variety of applications including scientific, medical, semiconductor, entertainment, horticulture, and architectural applications. Ushio America is a subsidiary of Ushio Inc., a publicly traded global manufacturer in Tokyo, Japan. In her role as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Ms. Williams oversees all of the company’s legal, compliance, risk management, and corporate governance matters. As a native of Japan, Ms. Williams uses her language skills and deep understanding of both Japanese and U.S. business cultures in providing effective legal and strategic advice to Ushio America and other group companies. Ms. Williams also serves on the board of directors of KA Imaging Inc. in Kitchener, Canada, a developer of cutting-edge multi-energy x-ray detectors and micro-CT scanners for a wide variety of applications in healthcare, veterinary, security, automotive, non-destructive testing, food inspection, and other areas.
Previously, Ms. Williams was an Assistant General Counsel and Compliance Officer of Christie Digital Systems USA, Inc. (an affiliate of Ushio America), and an Assistant General Counsel of Apria Healthcare. She also has practiced commercial and IP litigation and corporate transactions at major law firms.
Ms. Williams is a Council Leader of the U.S.-Japan Council and currently serves as the Regional Chair for the Southern California/Southwest Region. She also serves as a Co-Vice Chair for the International Legal Affairs Network of the Association of Corporate Counsel. She has previously served on the Board of Governors of the Japanese American Bar Association of Greater Los Angeles and the Board of Directors of the Women In Technology – Orange County.
Ms. Williams received her B.S., highest distinction, from Northwestern University and J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law where she was on the school’s law review and Editor-in-Chief of the Loyola Forum of International Law.
Karen Rindner has 20+ years of experience as in-house counsel, specializing in labor and employment law. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Cornell University and received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
Karen is currently Senior Employment Counsel for Warner Bros., where she engages with corporate clients in the Consumer Products, DC Entertainment and Studio Facilities groups regarding compensation, benefits, employee relations and litigations matters. She is also managing from a legal perspective the implementation of WarnerMedia’s Production Diversity Policy, which is aimed at building a worldwide culture of true belonging. Karen participated on the team tasked with creating and releasing the industry’s first annual Diversity & Inclusion Report.
Prior to her work at Warner Bros., Karen was General Counsel of Fidelis Cybersecurity in Bethesda, Maryland, a worldwide cybersecurity company. She previously held in-house counsel positions at large public companies and private and not for profit companies including Neustar, Sunrise Senior Living, National Geographic, and PBS.