Monica Guizar is an Associate General Counsel with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). She grew up in Pico Rivera - the eldest daughter of Mexican immigrant parents. She has dedicated the entirety of her legal career, over twenty years, to representing workers, unions and immigrants. Prior to joining SEIU, Ms. Guizar was an attorney and shareholder with the union-side law firm of Weinberg, Roger, & Rosenfeld. Her practice areas with the firm included traditional labor, employment and immigration law in both the private and public sector. She regularly litigated labor and employment cases before the state and federal courts, handled labor arbitrations and regularly appeared before administrative labor agencies. She has extensive experience dealing with issues that impact immigrant workers and organizing immigrant workers. Ms. Guizar was previously the Employment Policy Attorney with the National Immigration Law Center, ran a private law practice, and worked as an associate attorney with the Law Office of Enrique Arevalo. She regularly speaks on panels involving labor and employment law and immigration issues in the workplace. In 2019, Ms. Guizar was the recipient of the Wage Justice Center’s Advocate of the Year Award. She has served on the Board of Directors of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee; the Working Hands Legal Clinic in Chicago, IL; the Latina Lawyers Bar Association (LLBA) – is a Past President of LLBA; the National Lawyers Guild –LA chapter; and the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County. She has also served on the California State Bar’s Labor and Employment Section’s Executive Committee. Presently she serves and as an Advisor on the California Lawyers Association Labor and Employment Law Section. Ms. Guizar received her undergraduate degrees in Spanish Literature and Criminology, Law and Society from U.C. Irvine in 1995.
Heriberto Veliz is a personal injury attorney at Perez & Caballero. Heriberto represents plaintiffs in catastrophic personal injury, premises liability, and wrongful death cases. He has extensive training in civil litigation and is dedicated to vigorously advocating for his clients. At Perez & Caballero, Heriberto has helped secure millions of dollars for injured clients. Heriberto was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, and raised in Sylmar, California. Despite being undocumented for the first 15 years of his life, like many, Heriberto excelled in school and earned his J.D. from Loyola Law School in 2016. While at Loyola, he served as President of the La Raza. Heriberto also worked as a clinical student for the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic, where he represented victims of crimes seeking lawful status to the United States. Heriberto highly values building relationships and serving the community. He is an active member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), and the San Fernando Valley Bar Association (SFVBA). This year will be Heriberto’s fourth year proudly serving on the MABA Board.
Elizabeth A. Hernandez is an attorney at Dordick Law Corporation in Beverly Hills. Ms. Hernandez’s areas of practice include catastrophic personal injury, premises liability and wrongful death cases. She’s been practicing law in California since 1999. She received her J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles and obtained her B.A. in History from UCLA. She was selected by her peers for inclusion in the 22nd (2016) through 27th (2021) Editions of The Best Lawyers in America for her work in Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs. She has also been selected to the 2021 and 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers list. Her professional memberships include: (1) Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) - Emeritus Board Member and 2021 Executive Committee – Secretary; (2) Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) – 2021 Board Member and 2020 Executive Committee - Women’s Caucus Representative; (3) Mexican American Bar Association – 2021 Vice-President and 2020 Membership Director; and (4) The American Association for Justice. Ms. Hernandez has been a speaker at various seminars. The most recent seminars include: (1) Trial Skills Sessions: Direct Examination, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) Women in Law, October 28, 2020; (2) Higher Level Medicine For Lawyers Panel - The Most Common Avoidable Catastrophes in the E.R. and How to Find Them, Consumer Attorneys of California, 59th Annual Convention, November 2019; and (3) Discovery & Depos Panel – Creating Your Discovery Plan, CAALA, Las Vegas Convention, August 2019 and August 2018 (Discovery & Evidence Panel). Ms. Hernandez has also written various articles which have been published in CAALA’s Advocate journal, CAOC’s Forum magazine, and Plaintiff magazine. Her most recent articles include: (1) An Effective Discovery Plan is More Than Just Knowing the Law and Some Facts, CAALA’s Advocate journal, October 2019; and (2) Preparing Your Retained Expert Witness for Deposition, Advocate journal, October 2017.
Magdalena Casas is a Deputy City Attorney with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office where she vertically prosecutes misdemeanor cases, and is specially assigned to the DUI- Drugs Unit. A native of Los Angeles, she graduated from UCLA, where she majored in English Literature, with a minor in Public Policy, and received a Master of Public Administration degree from CSUN. Prior to attending law school she worked for the City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation & Parks, where she managed recreational programming in the most underserved communities for the residents of the City of Los Angeles. In 2010, the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council honored her for her commitment to providing a safe and enjoyable environment for youth participating in at risk programs and activities. Ms. Casas graduated from Whittier Law School, magna cum laude. Most recently, prior to joining the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, Ms. Casas was a Staff Attorney with the non-profit Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County. In that capacity, Ms. Casas assisted self-represented litigants with access to legal services in the areas of family, housing, and civil law. She is currently a law advisory committee member with Los Angeles Mission College, and a committee member with LACBA Barrister's Networking Committee.
Attorney Teresa Gutierrez founded Teresa Gutierrez Law in Torrance, California to provide accessible legal services to those in and around her community. Teresa is a native Spanish speaker, and is fluent in written and spoken Spanish. In her practice, Teresa provides peace of mind to clients and preserves their relationships through comprehensive estate planning. She founded her estate planning practice because of her personal experience with her father’s untimely death between her second and third year of law school. Through her legal guardianship matters, Teresa helps individuals put families together - often times after challenging circumstances. She also empowers and guides business owners and individuals toward protecting what matters to them most through properly set up business structures and with well-thought out agreements. Teresa is a graduate of the University of Southern California (USC) and Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (LLS). Teresa was a leader amongst her peers at LLS, where she was selected as Chief Justice of the Scott Moot Court Honors Board and served as a staff writer for the Loyola International and Comparative Law and the Los Angeles Public Interest Law Journal. Teresa also volunteers numerous hours of her time to pro bono cases and causes with some of Los Angeles’ largest public interest firms, including Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project Los Angeles, Public Counsel, Bet Tzedek, and others. Teresa was also recently re-appointed to serve a third year on the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee. In addition to pro bono matters, Teresa has partnered with many non-profit organizations to help self-represented litigants by teaching civil litigation classes, consulting community members through an online clinic program, providing information to delinquent debtors, and giving free consultations for individuals in need of legal assistance with probate and trust issues. The Mexican American Bar Association (MABA) served as a terrific resource for Teresa during law school, and Teresa is eager to give back to the MABA membership - and the community at large - as part of the 2019 Executive Board.
Judy Perez was born in Los Angeles to immigrant parents from Colima and Jalisco. She was raised in Highland Park and went on to attend UCLA and then Loyola Law School. As a law student she interned for El Rescate, MALDEF and Judge Teresa Sanchez-Gordon in Los Angeles Superior Court. After graduating from Loyola Law School in 2002, Ms. Perez entered private practice as an associate for the law firm of Moreno, Becerra, Guerrero & Casillas where she handled civil rights and personal injury cases. In 2006, she opened her firm where she represented injured plaintiffs. Ms. Perez is currently Of Counsel for the firm of Perez & Caballero where she represents plaintiffs in personal injury cases, including victims of sexual assault. Ms. Perez began volunteering for MABA during law school and became a MABA Board Member in 2004. She remained on the Board six years then served as MABA President in 2010. She again joined as a Board Member in 2012. Ms. Perez also served on the Board of the Latina Lawyers Bar Association for many years and was installed as President in the 2008-2009 Board. In 2011, she was honored by the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation with the Community Hispanic Woman of the Year Award. In 2013, she was awarded the MABA Spirit Award. Ms. Perez is excited about returning to the Board so she can help MABA open doors for the Latino community, Latino students and young Latino lawyers who share her story.
A founding partner of López Law Group, a boutique family law practice in Los Angeles, Ms. López exclusively practices family law. She is a certified family law specialist, regularly appointed by the court to represent minor children. In 2014 she became the first and remains the only published family law minor’s counsel. In Re Marriage of Metzger (2014) 224 Cal. App. 4th 1441. Guided by the principle: if you get, give and if you learn, teach - Ms. López teaches locally and nationally on issues related to custody disputes involving children with special needs, minor’s counsel and integrating the use of technology in the courtroom. She served on the executive committee of the Family Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar and has co-chaired the Minor’s Counsel training for the past 4 years. Teaching and providing consulting services regarding the use of technology allows her to proudly embrace her inner geek. Since 2017, Ms. López has served as a Trustee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Ms. López also volunteers her time as a pilot. She assisted in re-establishing the Los Angeles Chapter of the 99s organization, an international organization of women pilots whose first president was Amelia Earhart. The 99s is an organization which promotes the advancement of women in aviation through education and scholarships. Through her volunteerism as a pilot, she chaired the Compass Rose committee where she obtained the first ever historical landmarking of a Compass Rose – an airmarking symbolic of the important role women have played in aviation. As a pilot, Ms. Lopez flies for public benefit including as a Mission Assistant for Angel Flight West, assisting in non-life threatening medical transport and for the Young Eagles program, where she flies children aspiring to be astronauts and pilots on their first general aviation flight.
TRUSTEE (20+ YEARS)
Mario Vega has practiced law for 22 years and focuses his practice on estate planning, probate and trust litigation. He was born and raised and still resides in the El Sereno neighborhood of Northeast LA., and is a proud alumnus of Loyola High School, Occidental College and Loyola Law School. He enjoys spending his free time, cooking, cycling, coaching youth baseball, playing tenor sax in a dad band called The Cosmic Apostles, playing guitar in a lawyer band called The Appeals, and most of all spending time with his two sons, Mario and Diego
TRUSTEE (20+ YEARS)
Sandra C. Muñoz is the owner of the Law Offices of Sandra C. Muñoz where she exclusively represents workers whose civil rights have been violated. For over 20 years, Sandra has worked on countless cases involving employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Sandra also has extensive experience in wage and hour cases. Sandra graduated from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles in 1997 and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Chicano/a Studies from UCLA in 1993. At Loyola, Sandra was President of La Raza Law Students Association and named the National Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Law Student of the Year. She was also on the Loyola team that won the HNBA National Moot Court Competition in 1996. Sandra grew up in East Los Angeles where her offices are currently located. She is also a proud graduate of Garfield High School and a former student of renowned math teacher Jaime Escalante. At the outset of her career, Sandra was an Associate Attorney at Hadsell & Stormer (now Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai), a prominent civil rights law firm. Sandra was then an Associate Attorney at Moreno, Becerra, & Casillas, a renowned Latino civil rights and catastrophic injury law firm. There, Sandra worked on numerous cases brought by victims of the LAPD Rampart Scandal, as well as other police abuse cases. Sandra has successfully argued before the Ninth Circuit and the California Court of Appeal. She has also been featured in the Daily Journal, participated on numerous continuing education panels, and taught legal courses for Dowling College. In 2002, Ms. Muñoz served as the President of the Latina Lawyers Bar Association. From 2004 to 2007, Sandra was the Managing Editor of the State Bar’s California Labor and Employment Law Review. From 2012 to 2017, Sandra was a member of the Central District of California Merit Selection Panel. In 2018, Sandra served as the Southern California Regional President of the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Membership Director of the Mexican-American Bar Association. In 2004 and 2005, Sandra was named Southern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers. In 2011, Sandra was nominated for Attorney of the Year by the National Latina Business Woman Association. Sandra also received the California Lawyer Attorney of the Year Award in 2016 for her work representing warehouse workers in a wage and hour class action against Wal-Mart and other defendants. Also in 2016, Sandra received the LLBA Mary V. Orozco Abriendo Caminos Award. In 2018, Sandra received the Fay Stender Award from the California Women Lawyers.
TRUSTEE (10-20 YEARS)
Michael was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He attended California State University, Fullerton where he majored in Political Science. He earned his J.D. from New England School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. Upon graduation from law school Michael was one of only 24 new lawyers in the United States who was offered a Judicial Law Clerkship from the U.S. Department of Justice Honor’s program, for the U.S.Immigration Court in Los Angeles, California. Michael now practices in his Entertainment Immigration practice where he prepares non-immigrant visa applications for his clients. Some of his clients include Vicente Fernandez, Alejandro Fernandez, Pepe Aguilar, Banda El Recodo, Banda MS, as well as many other top regional Mexican music artists. Michael has served as an expert panelist for the American Immigration Law Association multiple times. He is most proud of being married to his wife Adriana for sixteen years, and his two children Addison and Michael whom he enjoys cheering on his 9 time World Series Champions Boston Red Sox.
TRUSTEE (10-20 YEARS)
Diego A. Arp is Senior Counsel at Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. His legal practice includes banking, compliance, corporate, regulatory, and tax work for domestic and international commercial transactions. Diego was born and raised in the San Joaquin Central Valley to parents of Mexican and Creole descent. He attended San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, California and then transferred to the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB). While at UCSB, Diego earned a bachelor’s degree and obtained dual majors in History and Law & Society. He went on to earn his Juris Doctorate at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law (UCLA School of Law). At UCLA School of Law, Diego served as a member of several diverse law student organizations in leadership positions, clerked at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and at Crystal Stairs, Inc. Since graduating, he has served as President of the UCLA School of Law Alumni Association, actively supports the UCLA School of Law, Law Fellows Program, the Mexican American Bar Foundation, California Minority Counsel Program, Association of Corporate Counsel and the Hispanic National Bar Association. Diego is also a member of the Wells Fargo Law Department Diversity and Inclusion Council (LDDIC) both nationally and locally. He volunteers regularly with the Alliance for Children’s Rights and has provided pro bono legal services to immigrant families held in detention centers in Dilley, Texas as a participant of the Dilley Pro Bono Project.
TRUSTEE (5-10 YEARS)
Mayra Joachin is a Staff Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, where she focuses on advancing the rights of low-income immigrants through impact litigation, administrative advocacy, and technical assistance. Her main areas of work involve expanding immigrants' access to status and crucial services, including access to health care and public utilities, for all individuals regardless of race, status, or national origin. Ms. Joachin graduated from Columbia Law School in 2015. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she double majored in Political Science and Spanish and minored in Latin American Studies. In 2020, she was the recipient of the Jack Berman Award of Achievement. Her passion for immigrants’ rights advocacy stems from her experiences as a Salvadoran immigrant.
TRUSTEE (0-5 YEARS)
Joe Guzman is an Associate at O’Melveny & Meyers LLP, where his practice involves complex commercial litigation, data security and privacy, political law, government investigations, and white collar criminal defense. Joe maintains an active pro bono practice, which includes representing indigent defendants in impact litigation and individual clients in immigration appeals. Joe clerked for U.S. District Court Judge John A. Mendez and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Mary H. Murguia. While in law school, Joe externed in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and in the Executive Office of then-California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris. Prior to law school, Joe worked in the Antitrust Division and the Office of Legislative Affairs of the United States Department of Justice. Joe is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Columbia Law School. He is the Chair of the O’Melveny Latino Attorneys Employee Network and is a Board Member of Central City Neighborhood Partners, a one-stop service center that helps low-income families in the Westlake/Pico-Union neighborhood combat poverty and access opportunities.
TRUSTEE (0-5 YEARS)
Eric R. Canton is a trial attorney at the Law Offices of Brian D. Witzer, Inc., representing individuals throughout California who have been injured by the wrongful and negligent acts of others. Eric earned his undergraduate degree from UC Santa Barbara in 2009, where he majored in Law and Society and minored in Music and Spanish. While attending UCSB, Eric was very active in the community. He played in a non-profit community-based Mariachi, worked for a non-profit organization that focused on helping children with learnings disabilities succeed in elementary school, and interned for the Santa Barbara Public Defender’s office. Eric then obtained his Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School in 2016. While in law school, Eric served as Vice President for La Raza de Loyola, volunteered as a mentor and coordinator for Loyola’s Young Lawyers program, and competed in the the 21st Annual Uvaldo Herrera Moot Court Competition. Eric received First Honors recognition in the Civil Litigation Skills Practicum and completed the Civil Litigation and Advocacy Concentration with honors. Eric was then awarded a fellowship with the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). When Eric is not working, Eric enjoys spending time with his family, going to Dodgers games, playing soccer, and exploring new places.
Nora Adriana Preciado is the Director of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. She is passionate about immigrant rights and has almost fifteen years of experience advocating for the rights of low-income immigrants and refugees. Prior to joining the Immigrant Affairs team, she served as Supervising Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), focusing her work on impact litigation related to federal immigration law and constitutional rights violations. Nora also worked as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Orange County office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California, where she litigated cases relating to immigrant rights and spearheaded legislative advocacy and community outreach efforts. She later joined the ACLU’s office in Los Angeles, where she focused on defending the rights of immigrants in detention. Nora also taught as an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School from 2009 to 2012. She served as NILC’s Advisor at the Consejo Consultivo de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (CCIME) from 2012 to 2014. In 2011, Nora was a fellow in the Fellowship for a New California, a program of the Rockwood Leadership Institute. She was also selected as a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard Law School from 2013-2014, a program that recognizes exemplary attorneys who have distinguished themselves through their public interest work. She started college at Santa Ana Community College and later received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, Davis. Nora also holds a Juris Doctor degree from U.C. Berkeley School of Law.
Renée Quintero Sánchez joined Hayes, Ortega & Sánchez in 2017 as a founding partner. Born and raised in Los Angeles to a working-class Chicano family, Ms. Sánchez, from the very beginning of her career, sought to champion the cause of economic and racial justice, initially as an activist, community organizer and labor organizer, then as an attorney. Ms. Sánchez began her legal career in Northern California as a plaintiff-side civil rights litigator at Price and Associates, a women-owned and black-owned and operated law firm in Oakland, California, specializing in racial and sexual harassment cases. Ms. Sánchez now dedicates her traditional labor law practice to the representation of labor unions and is general counsel to many Southern California Teamsters locals. Ms. Sanchez has extensive experience representing clients in labor arbitrations and regularly appears before the National Labor Relations Board. Prior to joining her current law firm, she was a partner in another Los Angeles based union-side labor law firm where, for a decade, she represented various labor unions in both private and public sectors throughout Southern California and the Southwest. Ms. Sanchez is a member of several professional organizations and bar associations including, among others, the Latina Lawyers Bar Associations, the Lawyers Coordinating Committee of the AFL-CIO, the Labor & Employment Section of the American Bar Association, and is one of the founding members of The United People of Color Caucus (TUPOCC) of the National Lawyers Guild. Ms. Sánchez formerly served on the National Executive Board of the National Lawyers Guild, and for over sixteen years has volunteer as an NLG Legal Observer, where she works to safeguard the constitutional rights of protesters. Ms. Sánchez is the recipient of several honors and awards including the Super Lawyers Southern California Rising Star and the San Francisco-Bay Area National Lawyers Guild Unsung Hero award. She is an alumnus of California ChangeLawyers. Ms. Sánchez currently serves as a chapter editor of the Developing Labor Law Treatise.
Juan J. Redín is a Senior Deputy General Counsel with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Juan was born in Ixtapan de la Sal, Mexico. At the age of 10 he immigrated to the U.S. with his Mom and younger sister. Juan was raised in a single parent household and is the first in his family to graduate from college. As an undocumented student, Juan endured many challenges on his journey to achieve his Dream of higher education. Juan attended Mt. San Jacinto Community College and Mt. San Antonio College before being able to take advantage of California’s AB 540 and transfer to UCLA. Juan received his bachelors in political science, magna cum lade, from UCLA in 2003. Juan obtained his Juris Doctor from the UCLA School of Law. During law school, Juan served as the Co-Editor in Chief of the Chicano Latino Law Review and the External Co-Chair of the La Raza Law Student Association. Juan also completed a judicial externship with the Honorable Fernando Olguin at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Prior to joining Metropolitan, Juan represented school districts, cities, and various public agencies, in multi-million dollar public finance transactions. Juan is passionate and deeply committed to expanding educational access to those who are less fortunate, especially for Dreamers. Through his work with Dreamers, Juan was honored to join First Lady Michelle Obama during the 2012 State of the Union address in Washington DC.
Alexandra Reyna is MABA’s Student Trustee and acts as a liaison between the MABA attorney network as well as the Southern California law schools. Alexandra is a first-generation student and graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 2018 with a double major in American Studies and Spanish. Before law school, she worked for the Law Firm of Higbee & Associates in the post-conviction relief department. She began attending Loyola Law School in 2019. During Alexandra’s 1L, she was a member of La Raza de Loyola, Loyola’s Immigration Law Society, and was MABA’s Student Vice-Chair for Loyola Law school. During her 1L summer, she externed for the Honorable Douglas F. McCormick, a magistrate judge in the Central District of California. As a second-year, Alexandra serves as Coordinator and a Team Leader in Loyola Law School’s Young Lawyers Trial Advocacy Program and as a 2L representative for Loyola’s Public Interest Law Foundation. She is also a clinical student in the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic and a staffer for the Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review. She is honored to serve as MABA’s 2021 Student Trustee and looks forward to connecting with fellow students throughout Southern California.
MABA EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATOR
Claudia Perez was born in East Los Angeles and graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2016 with a major in Global International Studies and a double minor in Italian and History. She has been an active member and student leader of the United Nations Foundation Girl Up, a nonprofit organization aimed at aiding one of the most marginalized groups in the world: girls. She expanded this organization by co-founding one of the first UNF college clubs in the nation, UCSB Girl Up Club. There, Claudia and her student members passionately raised awareness of various social justice issues, particularly concerning to girls in Malawi, Ethiopia, Liberia, Guatemala, and India. During this tenure, Claudia lobbied in Congress for the Girls Count Act of 2013, later signed by President Obama in the summer of 2015. During her undergraduate studies, she also attended the University of California, Washington Center where she partook in an internship with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of human rights through advocacy, education, and empowerment. Directly after graduating from UCSB, she studied abroad in Italy attending the University of Bologna. There she represented the University of California organization during the United States presidential elections by giving a city wide speech on the importance of student representation and voting. As the MABA Administrator, she is immensely honored to be a part of this dedicated and inspirational family and hopes to continue working alongside nonprofit organizations in helping alleviate some of the most prevalent world issues.