Orange County Hispanic Bar Association



Vol. 2015,
No. 9 
In this issue...
In The News

Text-to-Donate to the HBA 

Send a text to 

Text the word 
September 2015
President's Message     
By: Rafael G. Nendel-Flores, HBA President   
With the passing of Labor Day, summer is now officially over, the kids are back in school and Hispanic Heritage month is here.  With this in mind,  I wanted to first focus on the impressive accomplishments of our local Hispanic professionals in the last few months alone.  In July, Governor Brown appointed Julie Palafox to the Orange County Superior Court.  We are very happy for Judge Palafox and are honored that we supported her candidacy.  Four of the HBA's own Board Members were recently selected as "Rising Stars" by Southern California Superlawyers---yours truly, Darrell White, Eric M. Dominguez and Diana Lopez.  Also, Santa Ana Councilmember Michelle Martinez was elected president of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).  Finally, I was honored to be included in Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession, for the second year in a row.
The HBA has a very busy fall planned.  First up, the HBA will be holding its Annual Judges BBQ on September 27.  This year we will be honoring US District Court Judge Andrew Guilford.  Judge Guilford has been a consistent and tireless supporter of the HBA.  Next, HBA will be holding a joint CLE event with JAMS on civility in the legal profession on October 13 at 6:30pm.  In my opinion, this is a critical topic as lawyers often treat each other with less respect than they should.  At the end of the day, we are in the same profession even if we happen to be on opposite sides of a dispute.  HBA also plans to hold an event regarding the judicial appointment/application process with Kimberly Knill, the Chair of the California State Bar's Judicial Nominee Evaluation Commission and a few recently appointed judges.  Hispanics continue to be hugely underrepresented on the California bench and a big part of this problem is the low number of Hispanic attorneys applying for judicial appointments.  Hopefully, this event will demystify the application process and, more importantly, encourage qualified folks to apply.  HBA will then hold its Annual Dia De Los Muertos event at Luna Kutsi on November 4 and its annual Holiday Party in December.  These will all be great events and I look forward to seeing all of you at these events!
Finally and on a more serious note, I wanted to briefly address some of the unproductive and frankly offensive ant-immigrant rhetoric that we are hearing from certain presidential candidates and their surrogates.  This nativism is inconsistent with our nation's founding principles and, regardless of one's political persuasion, inconsistent with conservative principals as I understand them.  As Ronald Reagan observed on independence day in 1986:
Through the years, America's promise of liberty and justice for all served as a magnet, drawing to our shores millions of people yearning to breathe the heady air of freedom. They flocked here from every continent, bringing with them the riches of their customs and their cultures; precious strands of every color, tone, and texture, to be woven into the rich tapestry of America.

Consistent with President Reagan's observation, three of the major presidential candidates on the Republican side (Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio) come from first generation immigrant families.  Rather than vilifying immigrants, we should celebrate these diverse presidential candidates and the millions of other hard working immigrants in this country as classic immigrant success stories.
In The News
HBA Awarded Proclamation from City of Santa Ana for Hispanic Heritage Month     

On Tuesday, September 15, President Rafael Nendel-Flores, on behalf of the HBA, accepted a proclamation recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month.

HBA Board Members Selected to "Rising Stars" by Super Lawyers     

The HBA is proud to announce four current board members have been selected to "Rising Stars" by Super Lawyers. Please click on each name for more information.

Rafael G. Nendel-Flores (Rising Star), Eric M. Dominguez (Rising Star), Diana Lopez (Rising Star) and Darrell White (Rising Star)
HBA President Selected by Best Lawyers 

The HBA is proud to announce current HBA President Rafael G. Nendel-Flores is selected by Best Lawyers. Read More >
Board member, Ivan Cisneros has joined Myers Berstein, LLP      

Ivan joins former OCHBA Vice President, Karin Khan and will serve as a Senior Associate on the firm's litigation team.  A long time supporter of the OCHBA, Myers Berstein represents a wide range of clients in the area of business litigation internet law, corporate governance, and intellectual property in it's Irvine office.
Guillermo Tello Joins Ogletree Deakins       

We are happy to announce that our CFO, Guillermo Tello, joined Ogletree Deakins' Orange County office in June.  Ogletree Deakins is one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management in all types of employment-related legal matters. The firm has more than 700 lawyers located in 47 offices across the United States, in Europe, and in Mexico. Ogletree Deakins has been named a Law Firm of the Year four consecutive years by U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms." In 2015, the publication named Ogletree Deakins its "Law Firm of the Year" in the Labor Law - Management category.
Two Appointed to OC Superior Court Including HBA endorsed appointee Julie Palafox  


SACRAMENTO - Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the appointment of Melissa R. McCormick and Julie A. Palafox to judgeships in the Orange County Superior Court.

McCormick, 44, of Laguna Beach, has been a partner at Irell and Manella LLP since 2004, where she was an associate from 1997 to 2003. She served as a law clerk for the Honorable Emilio M. Garza at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit from 1996 to 1997 and for the Honorable Judith N. Keep at the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California from 1995 to 1996. McCormick earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Marjorie L. Carter. McCormick is registered without party preference.

Palafox, 57, of Trabuco Canyon, has been an attorney in private practice since 2000. She was a partner at Alevizon, Edwards and Palafox from 1998 to 2000 and at Alevizon, Smith, Susson and Palafox from 1990 to 1998. Palafox was an associate at Alevizon, Smith and Lawrence from 1984 to 1990 and at Gould and Sayre from 1983 to 1984. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Notre Dame. Palafox fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Wendy S. Lindley. She is registered without party preference.
New to Orange County? Changed firms?  
Other Announcements?
Let your fellow OC HBA members know by emailing us at to be placed in next month's newsletter.
Pre-Paid HBA Members

Judges & their Guests

Pre-Paid Non-Members

More information  
Pre-Paid HBA Members

Sitting Judges

Pre-Paid Non-Members
Community Calendar & News
'Community Calendar & News' is a courtesy bulletin board service provided by the HBA to its community partners.  The posters of these bulletins, not the HBA, are solely responsible for their content.  Unless otherwise noted, by publishing these billboard posts, the HBA does not endorse the views, services, products, causes, or candidates referenced therein.
Reception in Honor of Newly Elected NALEO President Michele Martinez 
Thursday, September 24 at 6:00pm
More Information
Orange County Annual Red Mass  
Monday, October 5 at 6:00pm
Holy Family Cathedral, 566 South Glassell Street, Orange, CA

On behalf of Most Reverend Kevin Vann, Bishop of Orange, the St. Thomas More Society of Orange County ("Society") cordially invites all judges, attorneys, law professors, students, other members of the legal profession, and family and friends to gather together to celebrate the Orange County Annual Red Mass. A complimentary reception the will follow Mass.  For more information, please go the Society's website at
For more information about this year's Red Mass, please contact Bill Malecki at
For sponsorship opportunities for this year's Red Mass, please contact Fabio Cabezas at

Community Lawyers, Inc. Justice Jam 
Friday, October 9 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm


More Information
11th Annual OC Walk to Remember  
Saturday, October 10 at 7:15am


More Information
CLAY Awards Nominations
The annual California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year Awards recognize lawyers licensed in California for achievements with a significant impact on public policy, the law, the profession, or a particular practice area. The lawyer must be an active member of the State Bar when the work was done. Note: The CLAYs are not lifetime achievement awards. Winners will be announced in the March 2016 issue of California Lawyer.
All nominations must be submitted online using this form: The deadline for nominations is Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, 11:59 pm (no exceptions).
If you have questions or run into technical difficulties, please email
Join Our Mailing List

View OC HBA's profile on LinkedIn

Find us on Facebook!
Job & Volunteer Opportunities
Job Opportunities for Attorneys - New Opportunities Posted!
View current job opportunities for OC HBA members here >
Pro-Bono Opportunities for Attorneys
View all current pro-bono opportunities here >
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Orange County
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Orange County is a non-profit that trains and supervises community volunteers to mentor and advocate for children in the foster care system. Over 60% of the children that CASA is currently servicing identify as Hispanic/Latino, but less than 9% of our volunteer base identify as Hispanic/Latino. CASA and the CASA Hispanic Advisory Council is looking for more Hispanic/Latino volunteers to donate 10-15 hours a month to help one of the over 120 children on our wait list who are in the foster care system. For more information please visit or contact the Director of Community Relations at 714-619-5155 or
Public Law Center Volunteer Opportunities
PLC is here to support you in your pro bono representation.

Did you know that the PLC staff can:

  • Answer any questions you may have related to your case;
  • Locate a mentor to help you;
  • Supply you with samples and manuals (some case types excluded);
  • Provide translation support in Spanish and Vietnamese; and
  • Arrange for office space for you to meet with your client here at PLC?

 For questions contact: Kirsten Kreymann @ 714.541.1010, extension 283

View the current PLC case list
Professional Woman Volunteers Sought for Mary's Shelter in Tustin, CA
Mary's Shelter is a home for pregnant moms and moms who have children. The moms are all under the age of 18. Duties could include anything from caring for babies to mentoring teen moms. Hispanic professional women are strongly encouraged to volunteer. For more information, please visit
2015 Sponsors

Event Sponsor
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Nadia Davis-Lockyer
Union Bank

Brown Rudnick LLP
Judicate West
Myers Berstein
Sedgwick LLP
weintraub | tobin

Advanced Discovery
Bill Lockyer Committee
Fontes | Figueroa Law Group, APC
Garcia Rainey Blank & Bowerbank LLP
Lopez Law Corporation
Law Offices of Maciel & Ayala, LLP/Law Office
of Juan A. Laguna/Valencia & Associates APC
Malcolm & Cisneros
Ogletree Deakins Diversity and Inclusion
Snell & Wilmer

Special Sponsors
JAMS, Inc.
Jose González
Matles Insurance Agency, Inc.