RONDINE E. MACADAEG
CEO, Elevate Tomorrow, LLC
Rondine Macadaeg earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business from California State University, Los Angeles where was a recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the WSU Law Review and received the Distinguished Public Service Award for her work in the community. Ms. Macadaeg continues her volunteer work for economic, social, and political justice for poor and underserved communities.
VINCENT M. GONZALES
Senior Environmental Counsel, Southern California Gas Company
Vincent M. Gonzales is Senior Environmental Counsel for Southern California Gas Company, a Sempra Energy Utility. He provides environmental legal counsel to the Company, focusing on air quality, climate change, and Proposition 65 issues, among others.
Previously, Gonzales was in-house counsel for Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), now operating as BP America. In addition to environmental law, Gonzales provided counsel to the various ARCO companies in the areas of commercial law, real estate law, and maritime law. Before ARCO, he was an associate in the corporation department of O'Melveny & Myers.
KAREN A. MORAO
Counsel, Consumer Litigation, Hyundai Motor America
Karen Alysson Morao is an attorney at Hyundai Motor America in Fountain Valley, California. Karen Alysson Morao has 9 years of experience as a lawyer since graduating from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), in 1998. This attorney also has a N/A from Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School.
CAROLYN ENCISO SIEVE
Partner at Constangy Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP
Carolyn represents management in a wide range of matters including wage and hour disputes, class action litigation, wrongful termination, discrimination and harassment claims, and appellate matters. Carolyn also has extensive experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in contract disputes and trade secrets litigation. She has also defended corporate clients in litigation involving business torts, unfair business practices, and consumer class action claims. In addition to her litigation practice, Carolyn provides counseling and advice to employers regarding restrictive covenants and protection of trade secrets.
Carolyn handles litigation in both federal and state courts.
NARDO JUAN CATAHAN
Associate, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Nardo Catahan is an associate in the Orange County office of Ogletree Deakins. Mr. Catahan has experience defending various types of businesses in employment matters, including restaurants, car dealerships, schools, and religious associations. Mr. Catahan has represented these businesses in a variety of claims, including wage and hour issues, wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, discrimination (disability, gender, race, etc.) and PAGA claims. Mr. Catahan has experience defending businesses in single-plaintiff and class action cases. Further, Mr. Catahan has experience handling these cases in pre-litigation, government agency, and court settings.
Mr. Catahan also provides advice and counseling to clients not only to ensure that their employment policies are up to date with the law, but also as way to prevent future litigation. In connection with keeping his clients up to date on upcoming employment issues, Mr. Catahan has written a number of handbooks and employment policies.
Board of Directors
GREGORY H. D. ALUMIT
Attorney at Law, Howard Law, PC
Gregory Alumit is an experienced litigator who works to make the community safer by advocating for victims of abusive or negligent practices. To that end, he primarily represents plaintiffs in a wide range of consumer protection actions, workers compensation, social security disability and personal injury cases.
CHRISTOPHER N. ANDAL
Managing Shareholder, Andal Law Group, APC
Christopher N. Andal is the principal of the Andal Law Group and has been involved in civil litigation for over 15 years. He has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of his clients as well as successfully defended them. Mr. Andal has been named to SuperLawyer’s 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Southern California Rising Stars list, an honor bestowed on no more than 2.5 percent of his peers in the State. Avvo.com has also awarded him with their highest rating of “10.0 Superb Attorney.”
Mr. Andal has represented individuals, small businesses, insurance carriers and Fortune 500 companies in a wide array of transactional and litigation matters.
ANDRE L. ARAGON
Counsel, Consumer & Marketing Practices, Legal & Business Affairs, Sprint
Andre L. Aragon is an attorney at Sprint Corporation in Irvine, California. Andre L. Aragon has 5 years of experience as a lawyer since graduating from University of San Diego School of Law with a JD – Juris Doctor in 1998. This attorney also has a BA from California State University, Fullerton.
Counsel, Space & Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base
Attorney, Jillian-Leigh Balancio, is skilled in multifaceted practice areas, including family law, criminal defense, general civil litigation and personal injury. Jillian graduated cum laude from the University of California, Riverside with a B.A. in Political Science/Law and Society, with a minor in Anthropology. She earned her J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. During law school, Jillian was a student attorney for the Thomas M. Cooley Estate Planning Clinic, where she provided estate planning services to local low-income senior citizens. She also served on the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review and was a board member for the school's Moot Court Board. Jillian was admitted to the State Bar of California in 2009. Prior to joining Estelle & Kennedy, APLC, Jillian worked for a small full-service law firm and developed diverse experience in civil litigation, personal injury, family law, criminal defense, and probate litigation. She has successfully prevailed in numerous restraining order hearings and reached amicable resolutions between parties in dissolutions of marriage and custody/visitation disputes. Her experience has also allowed her to successfully and effectively negotiate settlements on the client's behalf. Jillian is always prepared to advocate for her clients and provide them guidance through the legal process in a professional, competent and compassionate manner.
Associate General Counsel, Genesis Capital
Ronald Rodriguez Baldonado is an attorney at Genesis Capital, LLC in Woodland Hills, California. Ronald Rodriguez Baldonado has 8 years of experience as a lawyer since graduating from Univ Of Nevada Las Vegas, Boyd Sol with a N/A in 1998. This attorney also has a N/A from Univ Of California Irvine.
Associate, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Steward, P.C.
Nikki Fermin represents employers in all aspects of employment law with a focus in employment litigation matters. Ms. Fermin has defended large private and public entities, as well as religious, non-profit organizations against a wide range of employment claims, including wrongful termination, employment discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and wage and hour issues. Ms. Fermin also has experience in defending employers against disability access claims.
In addition to litigation, Ms. Fermin also has extensive experience in administrative charges filed with the U.S. Department of Labor and the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. In the beginning of her career, Ms. Fermin gained valuable litigation experience in several Plaintiff’s firms and was involved in all phases of litigation including, depositions, motions hearings, mediation, arbitrations, and trial.
Ms. Fermin received her J.D. degree in 2010 at the University of Denver, Colorado. While in law school, Ms. Fermin interned with the Honorable William D. Robbins of the Colorado District Court-2nd District. Ms. Fermin also served as editor on the Sports and Entertainment Law Journal.
Ms. Fermin received her B.A. in English, Dean’s List, at the University of California, Irvine in 2005. At UCI, Ms. Fermin was an NCAA Division I tennis player on an athletic scholarship. She was named Big West Conference Scholar Athlete in 2004 and 2005.
DAPHNE BORROMEO HALL
Attorney, Clinton and Clinton
Daphne B. Hall skipped eighth grade and graduated high school as one of two valedictorians in her class. She attended the University of California, Berkeley as a Regents Scholar and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Social Science Field with her thesis in Attitudes and Policies towards Health and Welfare. She received her Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles in 1995. While in law school, she served as the Managing Editor of the International and Comparative Law Journal, held positions with the Student Body Association, and was an active member in various on-campus groups, including the Public Interest Law Foundation, of which she was a founding member. While in law school, Ms. Hall also worked as a certified law clerk with the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office (Inglewood Office) conducting preliminary hearings of criminal felony offenses.
As a general litigator, Ms. Hall has represented a wide range of individuals, companies, and public entities on a variety of issues in state and federal court. With over 20 years of experience, Ms. Hall has handled cases from inception to conclusion, successfully filing motions for summary judgment and conducting bench and jury trials. She has also worked with insurance companies (including working in-house for a national insurance company), risk managers, and Joint Power Authorities throughtout the state.
Ms. Hall has defended individuals and entities against allegations of abuse, harassment, discrimination, hostile work environment, and civil rights violations. She has represented individuals and entities in complex groundwater litigation involving hundreds of parties and two classes, excessive force issues in law enforcement practices, catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, asbestos/mesothelioma litigation, products liability, employment litigation, premises liability and personal injury defense. Ms. Hall has spoken at state wide conferences and for local organizations and has been published in the Daily Journal.
Ms. Hall is admitted to the California State Bar, United States District Court - Central, Northern and Southern Districts of California, United States Court of Appeals - Ninth Circuit. She is a lifetime member and former Board Member of the Philippine American Bar Association (PABA), a founding Board Member and lifetime member of the Filipino-American Lawyers of Orange County (FLOC), a member of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC) and with the Diversity Committee, and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Fish IP Law, LLP
Brittany Nobles. J.D. is a Law Clerk leveraging over fifteen years of market, investigative, legal, and scholarly research experience applied across various industries and interests. At Fish IP Law™, Brittany works primarily with the litigation team conducting legal research, pre-suit investigations, and investigative research. Brittany also supports senior attorneys in Fish IP™’s litigation and enforcement practice through drafting motions, discovery, and related documents to help Fish IP™’s clients protect their IP. Brittany employs a strong work ethic and adaptability to provide strong research-based solutions in service of Fish IP™’s clients.
Brittany received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in History of Art and Visual Culture with a Concentration in Religion and Visual Culture. She also completed a second major in Politics and minored in Sociology. Brittany earned her juris doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where she also received her Certificate in Global Legal Studies. While in law school, Brittany was a Research Assistant to Professors Deo and Tiefenbrun.
Brittany is a Founding Board Member of Filipino Lawyers of Orange County (FLOC) and Co-Chair of FLOC’s Advocacy Committee. Prior to joining Fish IP™ in 2015, Brittany worked for another local business and intellectual property law firm conducting legal research and drafting documents in the areas of copyrights, trademarks, and IP and business litigation. While in law school, Brittany diversified her IP and research experience, working for the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego as a Grant Writing Intern. She also interned for a solo practitioner serving low-income and indigent clients in criminal defense matters. During this time, Brittany worked on felony and misdemeanor trials and assisted California Lifer clients in preparing for parole hearings.
Outside the office, Brittany shoots archery and participates in Orange County Bowhunting League. She also enjoys rugby, outdoor activities, and working on art projects.
Counsel, City of Chicago
ELSIE LYNN SECOQUIAN
Attorney, Lexolution, LLC
Ms. Secoquian has been in house counsel for Farmers Insurance and Fred Loya Insurance. Her legal practice includes civil litigation, insurance defense and business litigation.
SERAFIN H. TAGARAO
Associate, Gordon & Rees
Serafin H. Tagarao is an associate in the Orange County office of Gordon & Rees. His practice includes defending individual and class action employment litigation on alleged claims for wage and hour violations, wrongful termination, federal and state leave laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Mr. Tagarao also counsels clients in all aspects of workplace compliance. During law school, he externed with the Honorable Richard Fruin of the Los Angeles Superior Court. He also became an active member of the Philippine American Bar Association (PABA) and now serves as Chair of the Media Committee and member of the Board of Governors.
LARRY T. VALDEZ
Staff Counsel, Fred Loya Insurance
VINCE M. VERDE
Shareholder, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C
Vince Verde is a litigator and former prosecutor with extensive jury and non-jury trial experience. He has tried and won jury trials in multiple jurisdictions and represents employers in state and federal courts in single and multi-plaintiff actions. His diverse practice includes the representation of regional and national clients in all phases of litigation involving employment and labor matters, unfair competition, trade secret and non-compete matters, work place violence, intellectual property rights, class action lawsuits and complex business disputes. He has extensive experience in all areas of employment law, including wrongful termination, retaliation and 1102.5 claims, discrimination, harassment, wage and hour issues, family and medical leave, disability discrimination and accommodation and employee privacy. Mr. Verde draws on his skills as a trial attorney in order to successfully resolve matters early in the litigation or obtain dismissals through summary judgment.
Law Student Liaisons
Western State University College of Law
ARIANNA P. DEL ROSARIO
Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law
University of California, Irvine School of Law