Yolanda Victoria Torres was raised in Orange County. She is a second generation Mexican-American on her mother’s side and first generation Mexican-American on her father’s side. She was the first in her family to attend college and law school. She attended California State University, Long Beach and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with Minor in Spanish. She went on to pursue her law degree at University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, in Sacramento, where she was actively involved in the Latino Law Student’s Association, serving both as Secretary and Vice-President.
After graduating from law school, Yolanda returned to Orange County to be close to her family and friends. Yolanda worked as an associate attorney in Beverly Hills for a Certified Family Law Specialist, handling celebrity divorce actions. Yolanda has been a licensed attorney since 2001. She worked for many years as an associate attorney in a family law firm in Orange County before she opened her own practice in May 2008. Her office is in Santa Ana.
Yolanda became a Certified Family Law Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization in November 2007. She prefers working in a boutique law firm setting as she believes that her clients are better served in that they are able to obtain the one on one attention they need. As the Principal of her own firm, she is very fortunate in that she represents clients from diverse backgrounds, whether it be from handling a celebrity matter, or high net worth client, or helping a Veteran in need, or some other pro bono matter.
Yolanda has served on the Board of Directors for the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association for the past four years. Yolanda has dutifully served the OCHBA by also serving on the annual scholarship dinner committee, travel committee, judicial evaluation committee, and has assisted in organizing events such as Navigating the Judicial Application and Appointment Process.
In addition to serving on the OCHBA Board of Directors, Yolanda was recently appointed to serve on the Orange County Bar Association Board of Directors. She has been a speaker at OCBA functions as well as the at the OCHBA's travel seminars, and the Celtic Bar Association travel seminar.
Yolanda is excited to serve as the OCHBA's President-Elect this year and will continue her active involvement. In addition to running her successful family law practice, she is an adjunct professor at Western State College of Law where she teaches a course in family law. She is hopeful that her teaching endeavor, her involvement with the affiliate bar associations, and her commitment to the OCHBA and OCBA will further facilitate a link between law students and the practicing legal community.
Yolanda hopes to give back to the Latino community by promoting education, and mentoring for future attorneys. She loves to travel and spend time with her family.
Bettina Yanez is a Certified Family Law Specialist practicing family law in Orange County & Los Angeles since 2000. She is the owner of the Family Law Offices of Yanez & Associates. She holds a degree in psychology from Pitzer College and a Juris Doctor from Western State University of Law.
She began her practice in Anaheim and soon relocated to Santa Ana then Tustin. As of 2010 her firm is located in the City of Orange.
The Superior Court of California, County of Orange appoints Bettina to provide legal representation for minor child(ren) of parties and parents who have found to be indigent. She is approved for appointment in the following panels: Minor’s Counsel, Termination of Parental Rights, Family Law Contempt and Paternity.
As minor’s counsel she functions in a dual role, as the voice of the child and as a Friend of the Court. She can present evidence to the Court once it gets to trial, but otherwise acts as an advocate for the child. Moreover, in the family law contempt panel she serves as an assistant public defender in contempt cases where parents are facing jail-time for failing to pay their child support.
Many of her clients describe her as an honest, assertive, “NO-BS” attorney that tells it like it is. She is very active in multiple organizations and believes in making time to give back to the community, both in giving of ones time and monetary means.
Bettina understands that divorce and family law issues have long-term effects on all family members, especially the children. As a child Bettina experienced the pain of divorce when her parents decided to dissolve their marriage. Therefore she knows and understands the pain and guilt children may be experiencing; therefore, she draws from her personal experience to better help her young clients involved in complex and highly contested custody cases. When appointed as minor’s counsel, Bettina takes special interest in her young clients in order to ensure that their rights are paramount.
Sasha Tymkowicz Vidaurre is the founder of the professional law corporation, Law Offices of Sasha Tymkowicz with offices serving Orange County and San Bernardino. Sasha has been lawyering since 2004 in the areas of family law and personal injury. As the leader of her law practice, a large part has been devoted to meeting the needs of the Latino community as heritage and compassion calls from Mexico and Argentina.
Family-oriented and driven, as the mother of three teenagers, the busy lifestyle of the practicing lawyer and business manager has provided for skilled time-management and insight.
An alumna from Chapman University, Western State College of Law and licensed to practice with the State and Federal Courts of California.
Karla R. Bustamante attended the University of California at Riverside where she earned a double Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Spanish Linguistics/Literature. While completing her undergraduate studies Ms. Bustamante was involved with campus activities, working and volunteering at the Cesar Chavez Student Center, Families First Project, International Student Services and the ALS Association; she also worked as an intern for the Riverside District Attorney's Office Victim/Witness Unit and studied abroad in Spain. She attended Whittier College, School of Law where she earned her JD while working full time.
Ms. Bustamante is currently an associate with Valencia & Associates, APC in Santa Ana, California practicing immigration law. Ms. Bustamante is licensed to practice before all courts in the State of California as well as the United States District Court for the Central District of California. She is a member of the Los Angeles Bar Association, Orange County Bar Association, Orange County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and Orange County Hispanic Bar Association.
Christian F. Pereira is an Orange County native whose civil litigation and trial practice includes representing people injured by others, products and police excessive force. Mr. Pereira grew-up bilingual—the son of immigrant parents—and is therefore able to directly communicate with his clients in their native tongue. Mr. Pereira delivers high-value results, even in the toughest liability cases that require appeal, including Carrera v. Maurice J. Sopp & Son 177 Cal.App.4th 366 (2009).
Mr. Pereira graduated from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles earning a Juris Doctor, the University of California, Riverside with a Master of Arts in Political Science and from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations.
Outside the practice of law, Mr. Pereira enjoys spending time with his family, hiking or biking through trails and being a handyman at home.
DARRELL P. WHITE, IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Darrell White is a partner with Kimura London & White LLP, where his practice focuses on commercial and complex litigation. Mr. White also acts as outside general counsel to his clients, providing value and continuity in advising and coordinating legal services. Prior to joining the firm, he worked for an AmLaw 100 firm as well a Santa Ana based boutique law firm.
Mr. White has served on the HBA Board since 2014, first as a Board Member, then as an officer (CFO and President-Elect). Mr. White presented “Advance Conflict Waivers and Disgorgement Under Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP v. J-M Manufacturing” at the 2016 CLE Trip to Panama. He has been a Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star since 2014.
As a community leader, Mr. White was awarded the 2016 Neighborhood Hero Award by the City of Santa Ana, Community Linkage Forum (Riverview). He is actively involved with leadership programs in and out of the Bar, including the ABA Litigation Section Liaison to the Hispanic Commission and Hispanic 100 Foundation.
Growing up in a multicultural family of Mexican and Greek descent inspired him to become an attorney:
"I am blessed to come from a truly American-dream family. My maternal great-grandmother and paternal grandmother were both immigrants, from Mexico and Greece, respectively. On Dad's side of the family, my great-grandfather Sid White argued Oklahoma re-apportionment issues before the US Supreme Court. My family background drives me to achieve professional excellence and give back to my community. The HBA has been a fantastic organization for both, and I look forward to big things as we approach our 40th anniversary dinner in 2018!"
Above all else, Mr. White enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons in Costa Mesa, California.
Christopher J. Ayala established his law practice in downtown Santa Ana in 2012 and recently went solo starting Ayala Law Group APC in 2017. Mr. Ayala graduated with Honors obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration Management and a minor in Philosophy from California State University Fullerton. He then graduated Magna Cum Laude from Whittier Law School with a concentration in Criminal Law. His practice includes criminal, immigration, and family law. He is a first generation college graduate and attorney and understands the struggle faced by our Hispanic Community. He has a strong desire to help the community and has volunteered at various pro-bono immigration clinics, health fairs, and has offered pro-bono services to DACA applicants. In 2012, he received the Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for Pro Bono Legal Services from the State Bar of California.
Steffi Gascón Hafen is an associate at Snell & Wilmer L.L.P. in the Private Client Services department where her practice is concentrated in taxation and estate planning matters. Steffi also has experience in trust and probate administration, state and local taxation, succession planning for closely held businesses, and charitable planning and advising non-profit organizations.
Steffi attended USC Law where she was active in the Latino Law Students Association (formerly known as La Raza), the Latina Lawyers Bar Association and the Mexican American Bar Association. She also worked at the USC Law Immigration Clinic where she assisted immigrants with their Asylum and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) claims. She received the Dr. Rodolfo Montes Scholarship three years in a row for her dedication to the Latino community. She also received the Edward S. and Eleanor J. Shattuck Award upon graduation from the USC Law faculty for exhibiting the greatest potential for becoming an outstanding member of the bar.
Prior to law school, Steffi attended UC Santa Barbara where she double majored in Psychology and Law and Society. After graduating from USC Law with her J.D., she attended Loyola Law where she obtained her LL.M. in Taxation.
Steffi’s father and grandparents emigrated from Cuba in the late 1960s. Her family’s experiences as Spanish speaking immigrants had a profound impact on her upbringing and her desire to give back to the Latino community. Steffi is proud to serve on the OCHBA Board where she can continue to make an impact on the Latino community.
Carolina C. Gomez is a Nicaragua native who was raised in Los Angeles and Puerto Rico.
After finishing high school in Puerto Rico, Ms. Gomez returned to California to attend Azusa Pacific University, obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Ms. Gomez also attended Western State University College of Law to obtain her law degree. In 2012 Ms. Gomez established her law practice to serve the Santa Ana community and surrounding areas. She focuses on Immigration litigation and appeals as well as Criminal defense.
As an immigrant herself, she has a deep-rooted passion to educate and empower the Latino immigrant community via her law practice and other avenues such as working with the Santa Ana High School Legal Skills Academy and speaking at domestic violence advocate training panels.
Ms. Gomez is a member of the State Bar of California has been licensed to practice law since 2009. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the OC Hispanic Bar Association and OC Women Lawyers Association. She is also a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Immigration Section; Orange County Bar Association; Latina Lawyers Bar Association; and American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Diana Gonzalez was born and raised in Santa Ana, California. She graduated from the University of California Los Angeles, in 2007 earning her Bachelor Degree in Psychology. She then received her Juris Doctorate Degree from Southwestern Law School in December of 2011 and was admitted to the California Bar in February of 2012.
During law school, Diana clerked for the Honorable Amy Pellman at the Edmund D. Edelman Children's Court in Los Angeles, California. Diana also gained valuable experience while clerking under the supervision of Mary L. Mucha at the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Immigration Project.
Diana is currently an associate with the Fontes|Figueroa Law Group, APC. Her practice areas include Immigration Law, Removal representation, and Workers' Compensation. As a Board Member, Diana hopes to give back to the Hispanic community of Orange County by promoting education and excellence.
Leo J. Presiado is a partner with the international law firm Brown Rudnick, LLC. Leo is an experienced business litigator with a distinguished track record of successfully representing clients in complex, high-stakes lawsuits. He has extensive expertise litigating cases in both state and federal court, including business torts, unfair competition, fraudulent transfer claims and all variety of contract disputes. Leo is also an accomplished appeals court lawyer having briefed and argued cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the California Court of Appeal and the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel. He has also served as an instructor of Commercial Law at the University of California, Irvine and as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Chapman University School of Law.
Leo is the son and grandson of Mexican immigrants who still own and operate the oldest Mexican restaurant in the South Bay Area, Leo's Mexican Food. Leo serves the Hispanic community through the Public Law Center and previously, El Centro Legal.
Sabrina Rivera is a staff attorney at Western State College of Law’s Immigration Clinic in Irvine. She directly represents clients in a range of matters, including deportation defense, humanitarian visas for survivors of violence and trafficking, citizenship, and asylum. She also supervises and mentors law students enrolled in the Immigration Clinic on cases and community advocacy initiatives, including, the Legal Orientation Program at Musick Jail Facility, which educates pro se detained immigrants about their rights and the immigration court process so they can make informed decisions about their legal cases.
She is the former chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Immigration Section and has served as adjunct faculty at Western State College of Law, where she has taught a lawyering skills class for the past three years. Ms. Rivera is an alum of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. She is a member of the Los Angeles and Orange County Bar Associations, Latina Lawyers Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Ms. Rivera is looking forward to serving on the OCHBA board to advocate for the Latino community and connect indigent residents to low/pro bono legal resources in Orange County.
|Michael J. Silvas
Hon. Frederick P. Aguirre
Hon. Gregory Muñoz
Wallace R. Davis
Frank J. Valdez
Hon. Salvador Sarmiento
David A. Valles
Diane Nordby Valdez
|Alfredo M. Amezcua
Arturo M. Cisneros
Ruben A. Smith
George W. Abbes
Joseph L. Chairez
Darren O. Aitken
John J. Isaza
Lisa D. Ramirez
Lorena C. Peñaloza
Norma García Guillén
Monica E. Lukoshek
Carlos X. Colorado
Genoveva Meza Talbott
Rafael G. Nendel Flores