SDCBA Ambassador Program

Approach Your SDCBA Ambassadors

At the next SDCBA event, look for “Bar Ambassadors” wearing this badge. These long-time SDCBA members provide a wealth of knowledge and want to help you get integrated with the SDCBA and our legal community. They will be at SDCBA networking and educational events throughout the year, so be sure to seek them out and say hello!

2016 AMBASSADORS

Ilona Antonyan

Dan Bacal

Tom Buchenau

Alex Calero

Larry Campitiello

Stephanie Chow

Jodi Cleesattle

Andy Cook

Jim Crosby

Ray Estolano

Jason Evans

Joe Fox

Loren Freestone

Bob Gaglione

Sheryl Graf

Roger Haerr

Srinivas Hanumadass

Nicole Heeder

Lizzette Herrera Castellanos

Danielle Hickman

Richard Huver

Rick Layon

Steve Lorber

Wells Lyman

Jan Maiden

Jerrilyn Malana

Lilys McCoy

Marcie McLaughlin

Ron Oberndorfer

Dino Paraskevopoulos

Nory Pascua

Stacie Patterson

Heather Riley

Kristin Rizzo

Anna Romanskaya

Johanna Schiavoni

Russell Wasley

Jon Williams


  ILONA ANTONYAN

  • Former SDCBA Director
  • Antonyan Miranda, LLP 
    • Family Law
Favorite moment as an attorney  
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers  
Best Teaching Moment  
Favorite sports team/sport  
Favorite San Diego activity  
Favorite travel spot  
Law school  
Hometown  

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  DAN BACAL

  • SDCBA Board of Directors
  • Solo Practitioner
    • Criminal Defense
Favorite moment as an attorney My first day as an attorney and, hopefully, my last day.  
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers Soak up as much law as you can while you're young because once you get caught up in the rat-race of the practice, it's going to be hard to stay on top of the ever-expanding body of the law.
 
Best Teaching Moment My first boss told me what you lack in evidence and law make up for with " blue smoke and mirrors."  I interpreted that to mean, be fearless and creative.  Comes in handy as a criminal defense lawyer.
Favorite sports team/sport

All the Cleveland teams and the Buckeyes.

Favorite San Diego activity Tennis in February while my Ohio friends are freezing their butts off.  
Favorite travel spot San Francisco
Law school Ohio State University.  Go Buckeyes!
 
Hometown

Cleveland, Ohio    Go Cavs!

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  TOM BUCHENAU

  • Former SDCBA Director
  • Solo Practitioner
    • Business (Transactional)
    • Civil Litigation
    • Family Law
    • Probate
Favorite moment as an attorney  
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers  
Best Teaching Moment  
Favorite sports team/sport  
Favorite San Diego activity  
Favorite travel spot  
Law school  
Hometown  

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  ALEX CALERO

  • Former SDCBA Director
  • Department of Business Oversight
Favorite moment as an attorney Filing my first civil case
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers Spend some time in court watching more senior lawyers do their thing
Best Teaching Moment Reading papers filed in opposition to your motion
Favorite sports team/sport

My son’s basketball team

Favorite San Diego activity Balboa Park
Favorite travel spot Thailand
Law school University of San Diego
Hometown

San Bernardino County

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  LARRY CAMPITIELLO

  • Former SDCBA Director
  • Cahill & Campitiello 
    • ​Business Law
Favorite moment as an attorney

That moment when the client shakes your hand or gives you a hug, and thanks you for taking good care of them. I have been blessed to experience that many times in my 30+ year career. 

Top advice for Emerging Lawyers

Network, network, network!!! It never hurts to know people, and to have people know you. You never know where you next client referral may come from.

Best Teaching Moment Watching members of my 7th grade Youth in Court team examine a “witness.”
Favorite sports team/sport

I am a diehard Chargers and Padres fan.

Favorite San Diego activity Touring local craft breweries with my college age children and their friends. 
Favorite travel spot

Florence, Italy. I love the art, the people, the food, and the wine. I also get mistaken for a local there. 

Law school Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
Hometown

I grew up in Los Angeles, but have lived in San Diego now for more than 30 years and consider it to be my home. 

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  STEPHANIE CHOW

  • SDCBA Board of Directors
  • Office of the Attorney General
Favorite moment as an attorney

Coming out of a case – whether in state or federal court, or higher or lower court – feeling as though my preparation and presentation had a positive effect on the outcome.  I love those moments, and they make the more difficult aspects of the job worth it. 

Top advice for Emerging Lawyers

Having a great mentor or champion is almost as important as building strong professional skills and putting out good work product.  So don’t forget to prioritize making professional relationships and to approach more experienced attorneys whose abilities you admire and ask for advice.

Best Teaching Moment

Nearly every case I work on presents something new, which reminds me not to get complacent in my experience no matter how many years of practice, because there will always be questions I don’t know the answer to.

Favorite sports team/sport

College football.  I should be a UCLA fan, but I always end up watching more Cal games…

Favorite San Diego activity

 Spending a nice sunny day at Balboa Park.

Favorite travel spot

 Vegas!

Law school Cornell
Hometown

The LBC (Long Beach, CA)

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  JODI CLEESATTLE

  • SDCBA Board of Directors
  • Office of the Attorney General
    • Employment Law
Favorite moment as an attorney Being sworn in to the U.S. Supreme Court and meeting Ruth Bader Ginsburg afterward
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers Remember that the buck stops with you. Know everything about your case, and know how to manage it. Take initiative and be proactive, even if you are a junior person staffed on a team. Know the rules yourself, including understanding deadlines and filing procedures.
Best Teaching Moment I was a newspaper reporter before I was a lawyer. Early in my legal career, I realized how much being a litigator was like being a reporter. You need to break down your case into its essential parts, and tell a story that the judge or jury can connect with and easily understand.
Favorite sports team/sport

Ohio State Buckeyes football, my younger daughter's softball teams

Favorite San Diego activity Walking along the bay and beach, taking my dogs to Coronado dog beach
Favorite travel spot Southern France
Law school American University, Washington College of Law (Washington, D.C.)
Hometown

Columbus, Ohio (although I actually lived in Washington, D.C., longer)

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  ANDY COOK

  • SDCBA Board of Directors
  • Solo Practitioner
    • Family Law
Favorite moment as an attorney  
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers  
Best Teaching Moment  
Favorite sports team/sport  
Favorite San Diego activity  
Favorite travel spot  
Law school  
Hometown  

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  JAMES D. CROSBY ("JIM")

  • Former SDCBA Director
  • Henderson, Caverly, Pum & Charney LLP
    • Business Litigation
Favorite moment as an attorney When a jury announces a verdict in your client’s favor after a hard-fought trial. Second favorite moment – having a drink with opposing counsel after a hard-fought case is over.  
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers Get out of your chair and out of your office, go to an event, meet some people, make some connections, volunteer, do some good, build a reputation. Don’t wait, do it now, it’s never too early and will become too late sooner than you think! 
Favorite sports team/sport

San Antonio Spurs 

Favorite San Diego activity Tie between sailing and going to the beach. 
Favorite travel spot Hawaii or Mexico or San Francisco or New York City or Caribbean or…….. 
Law school USD
Hometown

Born in LA. Raised in Santa Barbara. In San Diego since I was 20. 

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  RAY ESTOLANO

  • Former SDCBA Director
  • Solo Practitioner
    • ​Family Law
    • Criminal Defense
Favorite moment as an attorney

Successfully winning a case (dismisal of charges at a prelim) in front of my former trial advocacy professor

Top advice for Emerging Lawyers As the saying goes, if you love what you do, then it really isn't work
Best Teaching Moment

When I made a mistake in a case as a young prosecutor and the judge told me with a sympathetic smile, "Counsel, that is why they call it the practice of law."

Favorite sports team/sport

Portland Trailblazers/NBA

Favorite San Diego activity Cycling
Favorite travel spot San Francisco
Law school USD
Hometown

I was born in Portland, Oregon, but grew up in Chula Vista- so I consider both my hometown. 

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  JASON EVANS

  • SDCBA Board of Directors
  • Chair of the Forum for Emerging Lawyers
  • Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, LLP
    • Personal Injury
Favorite moment as an attorney  
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers  
Best Teaching Moment  
Favorite sports team/sport  
Favorite San Diego activity  
Law school  
Hometown  

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  JOSEPH FOX ("JOE")

  • Murchison & Cumming, LLP, Of Counsel
    • Business and Real Estate Transactions
    • General Liability and Casualty
Favorite moment as an attorney

Winning my first appeal on my first trial and having the appellate decision published

Top advice for Emerging Lawyers

Use your common sense and don't be afraid to ask for advice from an experienced attorney

Best Teaching Moment

Second chairing a jury trial with a new attorney and teaching him in the course of the trial

Favorite sports team/sport

SDSU Aztecs Men's Basketball/San Diego Padres

Favorite San Diego activity

Enjoying this marvelous City and playing softball

Favorite travel spot

Tel Aviv, Israel

Law school University of Arizona College of Law
Hometown

San Diego

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  LOREN FREESTONE

  • SDCBA Board of Directors, President-Elect
  • Higgs Fletcher & Mack, LLP
    • Employment Defense
Favorite moment as an attorney  
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers  
Best Teaching Moment  
Favorite sports team/sport  
Favorite San Diego activity  
Favorite travel spot  
Law school  
Hometown  

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  BOB GAGLIONE

  • Former SDCBA Director
  • Solo Practitioner
    • Civil Litigation
    • Business & Real Estate Transactions
Favorite moment as an attorney A jury verdict in favor of my client
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers Always be professional and strive to attain balance in your life
Best Teaching Moment

When someone takes a short cut and makes a mistake.

Favorite sports team/sport

Padres/Yankees (baseball); Knicks/Lakers (basketball); USC Trojans (college football); Chargers/Giants/Jets (pro football); Ducks/Gulls/Islanders/Kings (hockey); and Galaxy/Sockers (soccer)

Favorite San Diego activity

Hiking at Torrey Pines State Beach, SDCBA softball and San Diego County Fair

Favorite travel spot Italy
Law school University of San Diego
Hometown

East Meadow, NY 

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  SHERYL GRAF

  • Panagopoulos Embry 
    • Family Law
    • Criminal
    • Bankruptcy
Favorite moment as an attorney

Winning when the opposition said they were going to kick my a** and mop the floor with me!

Top advice for Emerging Lawyers

Focus on doing a good job for the client – the rest will fall into place.

Best Teaching Moment

Being in the courtroom, listening to the judge’s ruling and rationale, gaining invaluable insight re how that particular judicial officer thinks (so I can tailor my presentation accordingly).

Favorite sports team/sport

Gymnastics

Favorite San Diego activity Sailing
Favorite travel spot

Poland (I have a friend who lives there).

Law school

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Hometown

Kent, Washington (Seattle area)

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  ROGER HAERR

  • SDCBA Board of Directors
  • Solo Practitioner
    • Civil Litigation
Favorite moment as an attorney As a judge pro temp when my daughter recognized me in the courtroom
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers Get as wide experience as possible
Favorite sports team/sport

My daughter’s dance team; Irish dance

Favorite San Diego activity Bicycling, beer, calories
Favorite travel spot Majorca
Law school USD
Hometown

La Jolla

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  SRINIVAS HANUMADASS

  • SDCBA Board of Directors
  • Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, LLP
    • Personal Injury
Favorite moment as an attorney  
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers  
Best Teaching Moment  
Favorite sports team/sport  
Favorite San Diego activity  
Favorite travel spot  
Law school  
Hometown  

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  NICOLE HEEDER

  • Former SDCBA Director
  • Former Chair of the Forum for Emerging Lawyers
  • Solo Practitioner
    • Employment and Civil Litigation
Favorite moment as an attorney When I got my clients' home of 25 years returned to them after it was sold to a BFP in a wrongful foreclosure.
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers When in doubt, ask someone and don't be worried about sounding "dumb." Better to be embarassed for a minute than to permanently harm your client or your reputation.
Favorite sports team/sport

Pittsburgh Steelers

Favorite San Diego activity Kayaking with the dolphins at La Jolla Shores
Favorite travel spot Crete, Greece
Law school John Marshall 
Hometown

Port Jefferson, NY

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  LIZZETTE HERRERA CASTELLANOS

  • SDCBA Board of Directors
  • USD
    • ​Associate Director for Public Service & Diversity
    • Career Development
Favorite moment as an attorney  
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers  
Best Teaching Moment  
Favorite sports team/sport  
Favorite San Diego activity  
Favorite travel spot  
Law school  
Hometown  

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  DANIELLE HICKMAN

  • Former SDCBA Director
  • San Diego County District Attorney's Office
Favorite moment as an attorney  
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers  
Best Teaching Moment  
Favorite sports team/sport  
Favorite San Diego activity  
Favorite travel spot  
Law school  
Hometown  

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  RICHARD HUVER

  • SDCBA Board of Directors, Immediate Past President
  • West Coast Resolution 
    • Mediation
Favorite moment as an attorney

Representing pro bono fire victims of the 2003 San Diego Wildfires who were underinsured, taking on their insurance companies, and then meeting with them in my office to hand them checks for sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars over what their insurance company had paid them.

Top advice for Emerging Lawyers

Get out of your office and do the old-school face-to-face thing as often as you can.

Best Teaching Moment

Prepare every case as if it were going to trial, even though 95% of cases settle.

Favorite sports team/sport

 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Favorite San Diego activity Golf…and sushi
Favorite travel spot Hawaii
Law school

Southwestern in LA

Hometown

 LA – North Hollywood and La Canada

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  RICK LAYON

  • SDCBA Board of Directors
  • Solo Practitioner
    • Criminal Defense
Favorite moment as an attorney Every time a jury returns a Not Guilty verdict, especially when I know my client was innocent!
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers Your word is your bond; once given, it is kept even when it may inconvenient.  You enter this world only with your name, you leave this world only with your name. Try not to do anything in the interim which sullies your name or your reputation.
Favorite sports team/sport

Late 70’s, early 80’s era San Diego Chargers with Dan Fouts at the helm throwing to the likes of Kellen Winslow, John Jefferson and Charlie Joiner.  It was like watching poetry in action.

Favorite San Diego activity

Salt water fishing/lobstering

Favorite travel spot Cabo San Lucas
Law school Willamette University School of Law
Hometown

Escondido [by way of Brawley, CA]

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  STEVE LORBER

  • Lorber Nelson, LLP
    • ​Estate Planning
Favorite moment as an attorney  
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers  
Best Teaching Moment  
Favorite sports team/sport  
Favorite San Diego activity  
Favorite travel spot  
Law school  
Hometown  

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  WELLS LYMAN

  • Past President SDCBA Board of Directors
  • Solo Practitioner
    • Bankruptcy
    • Family Law
Favorite moment as an attorney Arguing an appellate case to the Ninth circuit
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers The practice of law is a marathon, not a sprint
Best Teaching Moment I was a 1st Lieutenant in the infantry in Vietnam.  I asked a platoon Sergeant the difference between Officers and Sergeants.  He said the Sergeants teach the men how to live.  The Officers teach the men how to die.
Favorite sports team/sport

Cleveland Browns

Favorite San Diego activity Fiesta island with my wife and dog
Favorite travel spot Our little condo on the gulf of Venice, Florida
Law school Cal Western
Hometown

Cleveland, Ohio

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  JAN K. MAIDEN

  • SDCBA Board of Directors
  • Solo Practitioner
    • Family Law
Favorite moment as an attorney Swearing in. Second favorite - flashing my bar card and going to the front of the line at the courthouse.
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers Find your mentors
Favorite San Diego activity Walking
Favorite travel spot US:  NYC.  International: Israel
Law school CWSL
Hometown

Encino CA

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  JERRILYN MALANA

  • Former SDCBA Director
  • San Diego County District Attorney's Office
Favorite moment as an attorney

I had the honor of presenting the family of the legendary U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall with the UC San Diego Marshall College Medal.  It was the first time that anyone from the Marshall family had visited the college bearing his name.  As an attorney and alum, this was a very special moment for me.  

Top advice for Emerging Lawyers

Make time to “give back” to the community as a volunteer or through pro bono services.  

Best Teaching Moment

I had the opportunity to observe and interact with multiple attorneys as a federal law clerk many years ago, and I remember how their behavior (good and bad) made an impression on me.

Favorite sports team/sport

Can movie-watching be counted as a sport?!

Favorite San Diego activity

Dinner with friends overlooking San Diego Bay

Favorite travel spot

Hawaii

Law school California Western School of Law
Hometown

Chula Vista

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  LILYS MCCOY

  • SDCBA Board of Directors
  • TJSL
    • ​Director of the Center for Solo Practitioners
Favorite moment as an attorney  
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers  
Best Teaching Moment  
Favorite sports team/sport  
Favorite San Diego activity  
Favorite travel spot  
Law school  
Hometown  

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  MARCELLA MCLAUGHLIN ("MARCY")

  • Former SDCBA Director
  • San Diego County District Attorney's Office
    • Criminal Law
Favorite moment as an attorney

Swearing in my first jury for trial as a prosecutor.

Top advice for Emerging Lawyers Be humble. Listen. Learn from those more experienced.
Best Teaching Moment Any time I can inspire a young person who wants to be a crime fighter
Favorite sports team/sport

SD Padres

Favorite San Diego activity

Breakfast at Harry’s then visiting La Jolla

Favorite travel spot

Hawaii

Law school CWSL
Hometown

San Jose

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  RON OBERNDORFER

  • Fischbeck & Oberndorfer
    • ​Real Property
    • Business Law
    • Estate Planning
Favorite moment as an attorney After 36 years there are too many to choose just one.
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers Build relationships with potential clients, and people who may refer the type of cases you want.
Best Teaching Moment I like to put processes in context, so explaining why to my paralegal or a colleague who practices in a different field has been rewarding to me.  No specific moments come to mind at this moment.
Favorite San Diego activity Hiking, biking, walking, gym
Favorite travel spot Kauai
Law school CalWestern
Hometown

Newport Beach

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  DINO PARASKEVOPOULOS

  • SDCBA Board of Directors
  • San Diego County District Attorney's Office
    • Criminal Law
Favorite moment as an attorney  
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers  
Best Teaching Moment  
Favorite sports team/sport  
Favorite San Diego activity  
Favorite travel spot  
Law school  
Hometown  

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  NORY PASCUA

  • Former SDCBA Director
  • Solo Practitioner
    • ​Family Law
Favorite moment as an attorney

I have so many memorable moments as an attorney, I’m not sure I have a favorite

Top advice for Emerging Lawyers

Stay hungry

Best Teaching Moment

Watching my students engaged in what i was teaching.  This was when I was an adjunct professor at a local university 

Favorite sports team/sport

Used to be the Celtics, now the Warriors / basketball

Favorite San Diego activity

Walking at the beach

Favorite travel spot

Villa Escudero

Law school

Thomas Jefferson 

Hometown

Philippines

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  STACIE PATTERSON

  • Former SDCBA Director
  • Solo Practitioner
    • Professional License Defense
    • Criminal Defense
Favorite moment as an attorney  
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers  
Best Teaching Moment  
Favorite sports team/sport  
Favorite San Diego activity  
Favorite travel spot  
Law school  
Hometown  

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  HEATHER RILEY

  • SDCBA Board of Directors, President
  • Allen Matkins
    • Environmental & Land Use Law
    • Water Law
    • Endangered Species Law
Favorite moment as an attorney

Being sworn in as an attorney with my parents in the courtroom.

Top advice for Emerging Lawyers

Meet as many people as you can – you never know who may be your next boss, colleague, opposing counsel, judge, or friend.

Best Teaching Moment

“Carrying bags” for senior attorneys and watching them work is a great way to see what you should and should not do.  Ask to attend meetings, court hearings, whatever with your colleagues and with attorneys you respect and admire in other firms. 

Favorite sports team/sport

NY Yankees

Favorite San Diego activity Del Mar Racetrack
Favorite travel spot Anywhere with a swim up bar and umbrella drinks
Law school Albany Law School
Hometown

 Putnam Valley, NY

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  KRISTIN E. RIZZO

  • SDCBA Board of Directors
  • Solo Practitioner
    • Employment and Civil Litigation
Favorite moment as an attorney

 My favorite days are always settlement disbursement days, i.e. handing my client a settlement check, giving them a hug and wishing them well in the future.

Top advice for Emerging Lawyers

Always be professional; civility isn’t just a goal to obtain sometimes, it’s a must all the time.  If you want to succeed personally and professionally in the practice of law, always be civil; respect your opposing counsel, you don’t have to agree with them, but keep it professional. Your work-life will be far more pleasant if you are cordial and respectful of opposing counsel, and likely, they will treat you with civility and respect in return.

Best Teaching Moment

A senior attorney whom I respected greatly told me not to sweat the small stuff, that litigation was filled with small battles, some worth fighting, some not, but what was really important was to know my case, fight hard (when warranted), let it go (when needed), know that mistakes happen, and do the best I could for my client.

Favorite San Diego activity

 Paddle-boarding

Favorite travel spot

 Poipu Beach, Kauai

Law school

 University of San Diego

Hometown

San Diego – born and bred

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  ANNA M. ROMANSKAYA

  • SDCBA Board of Directors
  • Stark & D'Ambrosio, LLP
    • Family Law
Favorite moment as an attorney

Being able to assist a client obtain a result she or he would not have been able to accomplish without my help.

Top advice for Emerging Lawyers

Don’t ever compromise your personal or professional values. Remember why you went into the legal profession and what footprint you hope to leave on your community. 

Best Teaching Moment

My last presentation to the ABA Young Lawyers Division about “networking on the run” – learning how to build and cultivate professional relationships in alternative settings  

Favorite sports team/sport

Hockey/ Red Wings 

Favorite San Diego activity

Cycling, hiking, and just being outdoors  

Favorite travel spot

This is a tough one. Probably Italy. 

Law school Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Hometown

Los Angeles

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  JOHANNA S. SCHIAVONI 

  • SDCBA Board of Directors​
  • Solo Practitioner
    • Appellate Law
Favorite moment as an attorney Having dinner with Hon. Sandra Day O’Connor during my term as President of Lawyers Club.  We talked about legal and everyday stuff.  What an honor.
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers Build your resilience — it is critical to bouncing back form mistakes, setbacks, failure, and other obstacles.  Lawyers have relatively low resilience, but there are ways to build yours up.  Google it.  :)
Favorite sports team/sport

Kentucky Wildcats (college basketball) 

Favorite San  Diego activity Coronado dog beach with my dogs
Favorite travel spot Anyplace outdoorsy 
Law school UCLA
Hometown

Louisville, Kentucky

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  RUSSELL WASLEY

  • General Practice
Favorite moment as an attorney  
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers  
Best Teaching Moment  
Favorite sports team/sport  
Favorite San Diego activity  
Favorite travel spot  
Law school  
Hometown  

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  JON WILLIAMS

  • Former SDCBA Director
  • Williams Iagmin, LLP
    • Appellate Law
Favorite moment as an attorney  
Top advice for Emerging Lawyers  
Best Teaching Moment  
Favorite sports team/sport  
Favorite San Diego activity  
Favorite travel spot  
Law school  
Hometown  

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