LinkedIn  Twitter  Facebook


HISPANIC BAR ASSOCIATION

ORANGE COUNTY


2019 Officers & Directors

Yolanda V. Torres, President

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 five 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 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.

Contact Information: 601 N. Park Center Drive, Suite 109, Santa Ana, California 92705, Phone (714) 541-5400,  e-mail: yvtorres@yvtorreslaw.com. Website: www.divorcelawspecialist.com

Bettina Yanez, President-ELECT

Bettina Yanez is a Certified Family Law Specialist practicing family law in Orange, Los Angeles & Riverside Counties since 2000. She is the President of Yanez & Associates, Divorce & Family Law Attorneys Orange County, where she employs four associate attorneys including her son Sean Yanez. She holds a degree in psychology from Pitzer College and a Juris Doctor from Western State University College of Law.

The Superior Court of California, County of Orange appoints Bettina to provide legal representation for minor children of parties and parents found to be indigent. She is approved for appointment on 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 and 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 or follow terms of their court order.

Many of her clients describe her as an honest, caring, assertive, “NO-BS” attorney that tells it like it is. She is very active in the community and in multiple organizations and strongly believes in making time to give back to the community, both in giving of ones time and money. Bettina is currently on the Executive Board of the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association serving as President Elect, She is a current member of the Orange County Lavender Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Western San Bernardino County Bar Association, Orange County Bar Association, the Italian American Lawyers of Orange County and past board member of the Orange County Women Lawyers Association, and she served as a Director at Large for the OCBA Family Law Section in 2013 and was a former President of the Orange County Barristers.

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; and 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.

Bettina has been married to Caesar Yanez, her high school sweetheart, for 36 years and they are the proud parents of three children that have followed in her footsteps.

Tiffany and Sean are both practicing attorneys and her oldest son Nicholas is currently enrolled at Southwestern Law School in their two year accelerated program.

Sasha Tymkowicz, VICE-PRESIDENT

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.

  • Experienced in jury trials, bench trials, arbitrations and mediations
  • Co-Chair of the Judicial Committee for the OCHBA
  • Co-Chair of the Membership Committee of the OCHBA
  • Frequent CLE speaker

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, SECRETARY

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.

Jeannette Garcia, CFO

Jeannette Garcia is an associate attorney at Hughes & Hughes, LLP, located in Tustin.

Jeannette grew up in Orange County and attended the University of California, Irvine (“UCI”) where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology, Law and Society and Psychology and Social Behavior.

While pursuing her Bachelor’s degree, she interned with the Juvenile Defenders, where she established an interest in law. After graduating from UCI in 2010, she began her career in the legal field as a paralegal for a family law firm in Orange County.

Jeannette received her Juris Doctorate from Western State College of Law (“Western State”) in 2015, graduating Cum Laude. She was admitted to the California State Bar in December 2015.

While at Western State, she received a merit-based full-tuition scholarship for two years and earned a Criminal Law Certificate. Additionally, she was part of the Law Review, Mock Trial Team, and she was Co-President of the Latino Student Bar Association.

Jeannette has been a member of the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association since 2013 and served as a Board member in 2017 and CFO in 2018. She hopes to continue serving the Latino legal community through her involvement with the OCHBA.

 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.


2019 Board of Directors

Rose Amezcua-Moll

I am honored and excited at the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors of the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association. To lead in a cooperative rather than competitive approach embodies what has made me the attorney I am today. If I had not had the benefit of colleagues and others’ efforts that paved the way through the years, I would not be the attorney I am today. I believe it is through the selfless efforts of others that have mentored me and supported me through the years that I feel compelled to give back.

I am a licensed attorney and the owner of Amezcua-Moll & Associates, PC. After less than two years of working in a small firm environment, I started my own law practice which is currently based in Orange, California and just celebrated its 13th year. Amezcua-Moll & Associates, PC primarily represents employees that have been mistreated in their employment. I am proud to be a sustaining member of OCTLA, am an active member of the OCBA serving on the executive committees of the Real Estate Section and the Employment Law Section, serve on the OCBA Administration of Justice Committee, the OCBA Mandatory Fee Arbitration Committee and have volunteered to be a mentor for OCTLA. I am on the Membership Committee, the Mentorship Committee and the committee that raise funds for local charities in Orange County.

I currently maintain a ranking of 10 out of 10 through AVVO and have been named a Super Lawyer 2018. I am dedicated to my clients and the legal community and have a strong desire to give to an organization that is

I have been blessed enough to study in such countries as England and China which gave me a vast appreciation for my home country and the opportunities it affords anyone. I have also competed in Europe and Australia representing the United States in such sports as Basketball and Track and Field. It is the collective experiences I have had that have instilled in me a global awareness and a healthy competitive spirit. I hope you will support me in my desire to give back to OCHBA.

Shelly Aronson

I have practiced criminal defense in Orange County for the past 34 years, 27 of which were with the Orange County Public Defender as a Senior Trial Attorney. My practice handles all misdemeanor and felony cases in the criminal justice system. While in the P.D.’s office, I tried over twelve murder cases, including special circumstances and death penalty cases. I currently specialize in substance abuse, drug and alcohol addiction and mental illness related to criminal behavior. In addition, I handle gang cases in criminal law as well as defend civil gang injunctions. My handling of addiction, gang and murder cases has taught me so much about representing the indigent, about rehabilitation, and about second chances in life. In addition to my criminal defense practice, I volunteer hundreds of hours every year as a Temporary Judge in Orange County. After a lifelong career in government and community service in the Hispanic community, I now proudly join the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association Board of Directors. I look forward to working with the Board on relevant social issues, helping students obtain scholarships and better education, and to enhance the quality of life for the Hispanic community. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.

Christopher J. Ayala

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.

Oscar A. Figueroa

Oscar Figueroa is an associate in the Orange County office of Troutman Sanders LLP.  His practice focuses on intellectual property litigation and general business litigation matters.  He has experience litigating in the California Superior Courts and in Federal District Courts throughout the country.  Oscar graduated from UCLA in 2011 and from UCLA School of Law in 2016.  Having grown up in less than ideal circumstances, Oscar understands the difficulties children from underrepresented communities face.  As a result, he has a keen interest in working with youth in his community.  To that end, Oscar works and volunteers with organizations focused on helping students from underrepresented communities overcome the obstacles many of them face in education.  Oscar was a recipient of the OCHBA Wallace (Wally) R. Davis Memorial Scholarship in 2015.

Stephanie Franco

Stephanie Franco is currently the Associate General Counsel at Delaware Depository in Seal Beach, CA and assisting in the General Counsel role at Sports 1 Marketing LLC. During her undergraduate years, Stephanie attended UC Davis and obtained her B.A. in Political Science, Philosophy, and Theater. Stephanie attended law school at California Western School of Law in San Diego. During her law school career, she was an active member of the Student Bar Association, Sports and Entertainment Law Society, Moot Court Honors Board, and Phi Alpha Delta. Upon passing the CA Bar in 2015, Stephanie started her career practicing civil litigation in a boutique firm in Los Angeles. Stephanie joined the Sports 1 Marketing team in 2016 and joined the Delaware Depository Team in 2019. Stephanie also serves as an adjunct professor at Western State College of Law teaching Sports Law.

KARINA A. GUTIERREZ
Karina Gutierrez is a bilingual staff attorney with Public Law Center's Immigration unit, where she handles a wide range of immigration petitions on behalf of domestic violence victims, victims of other crimes, DREAMers, unaccompanied minors, and other vulnerable individuals. Prior to joining PLC, Karina clerked with a private immigration firm in Santa Ana. Karina obtained her J.D. from Golden Gate University and her undergraduate degree from California State University, Fullerton where she double majored in Psychology and Political Science. During law school, Karina served as the Associate Editor of the Golden Gate Environmental Law Journal and interned with several immigration and immigrant rights organizations. Karina is an active member of the Latina Lawyers Association, the Orange County Bar Association, and Orange County Women's Lawyer Association.



Steffi Gascón Hafen

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.


MIchael T. Mooney
Michael Mooney is a Deputy Public Defender in Orange County and former associate attorney at the Law Offices of Thomas A. Johnson in Sacramento, CA. Michael grew up in Orange County before leaving to attend the University of California, San Diego for his undergraduate degree, and the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law for his J.D. While attending law school, Michael was a law clerk at the Office of the Federal Defender, participated in a pro bono tax clinic for migrant farm workers, participated in a parole representation clinic, and acted as a mentor to underprivileged youth in the Sacramento area. Michael recently helped coach the Santa Ana High School Mock Trial Teams and looks forward to continuing to work with the kids. This background has acted as a base for what Michael is committed to: protecting and fighting for the rights of the indigent, marginalized, and people without a voice.

Beverly D. Moranda
Beverly D. Moranda is a native of Southern California and the epitome of the American Dream.  She is the youngest daughter of Mexican immigrants, both of whom were child laborers and neither of whom had the opportunity to attend or graduate high school. Ms. Moranda is the sixth of seven children and a first generation college graduate.  She is also the first in her family to obtain an advanced degree and thus, understands first-hand the unique challenges faced by Hispanic first-generation college graduates who  transition to first-generation professionals.

Ms. Moranda graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of La Verne, with a Bachelor's in Political Science and a minor in sociology.  She earned her Juris Doctorate at the University of La Verne, College of Law.  Ms. Moranda was admitted to the bar in June 2013.  She worked as a family law associate at an immigration, criminal, and family law firm and as an associate attorney at a family law firm in Orange County before opening her own practice.  Ms. Moranda is the President/ CEO of Moranda Law Firm, APC. She limits her practice to family law litigation.

Ms. Moranda is an avid runner and fitness enthusiast.  Her hobbies include competing in 5K's, 10K's, 10 mile races, and half-marathons.  Ms. Moranda also enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.  

Ms. Moranda is currently serving the second year of her two year term on the board of directors, where she serves as co-chair of the judicial evaluations committee.  Ms. Moranda would feel honored and privileged to continue serving on the board of directors.

Leo Presiado

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

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.

Chariese Solorio

Chariese Solorio is an associate at Snell & Wilmer L.L.P. in the Products Liability group. Prior to joining Snell, Chariese's practice focused mainly on public entity defense.

Chariese was born and raised in Santa Ana and Orange. After graduating from Orange High School, she attended UCLA, where she volunteered with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles and lobbied throughout California on behalf of DREAMers. She then attended UCI Law School and graduated with pro bono honors. Her pro bono work has included advocating on behalf of victims of domestic violence, senior citizens, individuals seeking asylum, and victims of wage theft.

Chariese is a first generation college graduate and has used her experience as such to assist high school students on their path to college. Chariese remains active in the community by mentoring local high school students, working pro bono on various immigration-related matters, and serving on the Associate Board of Project Youth.

Ashley Vaccaro, Attorney at Law - OCHBA Board of Directors ASHLEY VACCARO

Ashley N. Vaccaro was born and raised in Orange County. She is of Argentine descent on her mother’s side, and grew up speaking native Spanish. During college, Ashley also studied abroad and lived in Barcelona, Spain, as part of an intensive Spanish immersion program

Ashley attended the University of California, Los Angeles, graduating in December 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and a Minor in Spanish. After earning her law degree in 2011 from the University of Chicago, where she served as the Vice President of the Latino Law Students Association, she began her career at Jenner & Block in Chicago, Illinois. During her time at Jenner & Block, Ashley’s practice focused mainly on complex commercial matters and white collar investigations, for which she traveled to Central and South America on multiple occasions to engage in interviews and investigations on behalf of international clients. In 2017, Ashley returned to her native California to be near family and friends, joining Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Litigation Department. Ashley’s practice continues to focus on commercial litigation and white collar matters, and she has litigated a wide array of commercial disputes and conducted multiple investigations for national and international organizations.

Ashley also has an active pro bono practice and is an avid animal activist. Ashley counsels nonprofit organizations in all facets of their business, from drafting contracts to litigating matters in court. She has represented clients bringing 1,983 cases against government agencies, and is currently representing nationwide clients in actions against Medicaid agencies for wrongful denial of coverage for life-changing medications.

In addition to serving on the OCHBA Board of Directors, Ashley serves as the Secretary of the Orange County Coalition for Diversity in the Law. Ashley is an avid proponent of diversity efforts and inclusion in the legal field, with a focus on promoting and retaining diverse talent.

Deborah M. Vasquez
Ms. Vasquez is a litigation attorney and founder of The Vasquez Law Group, a boutique firm in Santa Ana.  She is particularly involved with cases involving the protection of tenants’ rights.  Ms. Vasquez has represented a wide variety of tenants in lawsuits involving retaliatory eviction, wrongful eviction, slum conditions and discrimination where she gives a voice to the voiceless.  Ms. Vasquez also represents anyone who is a victim of any type of serious accident including car accidents, pedestrian injury, bicycle accidents, slip and fall injury, premises liability, dog bite injury and more.  She is admitted to all of the California Federal Courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.
 
Ms. Vasquez began her career with the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association as a student member of the OCHBA Board of Directors.  She has devoted many years to serving the organization and is honored to continue to serve the OCHBA as a member of the Board of Directors.

Past Presidents

Michael J. Silvas
Hon. Frederick P. Aguirre
Hon. Gregory Muñoz
Wallace R. Davis
Jess Araujo
Albert Mercado
Frank J. Valdez
Hon. Salvador Sarmiento
David A. Valles
Diane Nordby Valdez
Gilbert Maturino
Maurice Sanchez
Richard Armendariz
Alfredo M. Amezcua
Arturo M. Cisneros
Ruben A. Smith
George W. Abbes
Albert Mercado
Rebecca Jurado
Joseph L. Chairez
Cory Aguirre
Darren O. Aitken
Claudia Alvarez
John J. Isaza
Jamie Duarte
Fabio Cabezas
Federico Sayre
José Urcis
Lisa D. Ramirez
Lorena C. Peñaloza
Norma García Guillén
Monica E. Lukoshek
Carlos X. Colorado
Genoveva Meza Talbott
José González
Mayte Santacruz
Diana Lopez
Rafael G. Nendel Flores
Lyo Figueroa
Eric Dominguez
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software