Heriberto Veliz | President
Heriberto Veliz is a personal injury attorney at Perez & Caballero, a trial law firm focusing on catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases. Heriberto has extensive litigation experience and devotes himself to vigorously advocating for his clients. Heriberto is a passionate litigator who takes pride in standing up for those whose lives have been wronged. Heriberto loves working with his clients, and his passion for seeking justice has allowed him to recover millions of dollars on behalf of his clients.
Heriberto was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, and was raised in the San Fernando Valley. Despite being undocumented for the first 15 years of his life, Heriberto excelled in school and earned his J.D. with a concentration in Civil Litigation from Loyola Law School. While at Loyola, he served as President of the La Raza. Heriberto also worked for the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic, where he represented victims of crimes seeking lawful status to the United States.
Heriberto has deep roots in the community and is dedicated to giving back to others. Heriberto is proud to serve as the incoming President of the Los Angeles legal powerhouse, the Mexican American Bar Association (MABA). Heriberto is one of the youngest presidents in MABA’s history.
Heriberto is also a proud graduate of the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) 2021 Leadership Academy and the Los Angeles American Board of Trial Advocates (LA-ABOTA) 2018 Trial School. Heriberto is also a member of the Los Angeles Mission College Law Department’s Advisory Committee. Heriberto is also an active member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), the San Fernando Valley Bar Association (SFVBA), and last but not least, the Cowboy Lawyers Association.
Magdalena Casas | President-Elect
Magdalena Casas is a Deputy City Attorney with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, where she prosecutes misdemeanor cases involving a variety of crimes. 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. Ms. Casas graduated from Whittier Law School, magna cum laude. Before 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.
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. She is currently a law advisory committee member with Los Angeles Mission College, and in her spare time she enjoys volunteering for a variety of charitable causes.
Juan J. Redin | Vice-President
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 pioneering law, AB 540 and transfer to UCLA. Juan received his bachelor’s 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 securing funds to finance critical infrastructure projects.
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. Juan is an avid cyclist, striving baker, and also enjoys coaching youth soccer.
Elizabeth A. Hernandez | Secretary
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 was selected for the Daily Journal’s Top Women Lawyers 2021. She was selected by her peers for inclusion in the 22nd (2016) through 28th (2022) Editions of The Best Lawyers in America for her work in Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs. She has also been selected to the 2022, 2021 and 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers list.
Her professional memberships include: (1) Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) - 2022 Executive Committee: Treasurer, which means she will be President of CAALA in 2026, and she is currently an Emeritus Board Member, (2) Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) – 2022 Board Member, 2020 Executive Committee - Women’s Caucus Representative; (3) Mexican American Bar Association – 2022 Board Member: Secretary, 2021 Vice-President, 2020 Membership Director; and 2019 Trustee, (4) Latina Lawyers Bar Association, and (5) The American Association for Justice.
Ms. Hernandez has been a speaker at various seminars. The most recent seminars include: (1) Getting The Most Out Of The PMQ From Discovery Through Trial Panel – Dealing With the Know Nothing PMQ, 60th Annual Convention, November 2021, (2) Trial Skills Sessions: Direct Examination, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) Women in Law, October 28, 2020; (3) 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 (4) 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) Supporting the Non-Economic Damages Claim in a Wrongful-Death Case, CAALA’s Advocate journal, April 2021, (2) An Effective Discovery Plan is More Than Just Knowing the Law and Some Facts, CAALA’s Advocate journal, October 2019; and (3) Preparing Your Retained Expert Witness for Deposition, Advocate journal, October 2017. 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.
Eve Lopez | Treasurer
A founding partner of López Law Group, a boutique family law practice in West Los Angeles, Ms. López exclusively practices family law. She is a certified family law specialist, regularly appointed by the court to represent minor children. 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. Teaching and providing consulting services regarding the use of technology allows her to proudly embrace her inner geek.
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. As a pilot, Ms. Lopez flies for public benefit including as a Command Pilot 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.
Eric Canton | Membership Director
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.
Mayra B. Joachin | Newsletter Director
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.
Mario D. Vega | 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.
Elizabeth L. Bradley | Trustee (20+ years)
Elizabeth L. Bradley has been practicing law for over 27 years. She studied International Relations at the University of San Diego, and attended California Western School of Law, where she was a member of the La Raza Law Students Assn. and interned for the California Court of Appeal. Throughout high school, college and law school, Elizabeth worked at her mother’s litigation firm in San Diego, Viviano & Bradley, in many administrative roles culminating in her joining the firm as an attorney. Under her mother’s tireless example, Elizabeth learned the importance of mentorship and service to the community.
After relocating to Los Angeles, years later Elizabeth and her mother formed their own firm, Bradley & Bradley, LLP, where they tried several cases together. Elizabeth is a State Bar of California certified specialist in legal malpractice, and is a partner in Rosen Saba, LLP, where she has practiced for the past eleven years, prosecuting legal malpractice, legal ethics and employment discrimination and harassment matters, as well as handling the firm’s appeals.
She currently serves on the State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Ethics, is a current and founding member of the CLA Ethics Committee, is the immediate past Chair of LACBA’s Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee, and serves on LACBA’s Diversity in the Profession Section Executive Committee and the President’s Advisory Committee on Women in the Profession. She frequently writes and speaks on legal ethics and litigation issues, and participates in mentoring programs through various schools and organizations.
Michael Felix | 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.
Diego A. Arp | 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.
Brenda Galvan | Trustee (5-10 years)
Brenda Galvan is a Deputy Attorney General at the California Department of Justice in the Division of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse. She received her B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University and her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law.
Before joining the Department of Justice, Ms. Galvan served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, where she prosecuted cases involving a variety of crimes, including murder, attempted murder, carjacking, and robberies.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Galvan worked for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand as an Immigrant and Foreign Affairs Liaison, a position in which she assisted hundreds of constituents, who were often victims of crime, with their immigration matters. That experience sparked her interest in attending law school.
Ms. Galvan is actively involved in the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the Latino Prosecutors Association. In her spare time, Ms. Galvan enjoys spending time with family and friends, long-distance running, traveling, eating at new restaurants, and hiking with her significant other, Jeremy, and their dog, Buster.
Lori Romero | Trustee (5-10 years)
Lori Romero became the Senior Partner of the Law Firm of Arevalo & Romero on January 1, 2018, at the age of twenty-seven. She attended Scripps College on a full scholarship and graduated in 2012. She went to Loyola Law School and graduated in 2015. She was admitted to the State Bar of California in 2016.
During law school, she interned in the gang unit of the District Attorney of Compton, California, clerked for Judge Hector Guzman and interned for three years in the Office of Counsel of the Army Corps of Engineers. She also did a clerkship at the Law Office of Enrique Arevalo. It was during this clerkship at the firm and under the guidance of Enrique Arevalo when she decided to pursue a career in immigration law.
Christian Contreras | Trustee (0-5 years)
Christian Contreras is an attorney, advocate, and community leader. As an attorney, Christian is the principal of the Law Offices of Christian Contreras, PLC and partner at Guizar, Henderson & Carrazco, LLP where he practices civil rights, criminal defense, personal injury, trials, appeals, and general civil litigation. Christian’s achievements as a lawyer include several jury trial victories, multiple successful results at the Ninth Circuit and Court of Appeal, and millions recovered for his clients.
As an advocate, Christian works with various non-profit organizations in the pursuit of social equity. Christian serves as counsel to Centro CSO, the Latino Coalition of Los Angeles, and other community organizations. Christian also works in shaping policy and has also testified at the State Capitol in support of legislation.
As a community leader, Christian also serves on the board of directors of the East Los Angeles College and currently serves as the state-wide legal advisor to the League of Latin United American Citizens. Christian is also a co-founder of Justice X. Justice X is a coalition of Black and Brown lawyers dedicated to advancing social equity. Through Justice X, Christian is launching an education initiative where the program focuses on teaching young adults from lower socio-economic neighborhoods about their rights in an effort to empower them and foster hope.
Joel G. Garcia | Trustee (0-5 years)
Joel G. Garcia is a trial lawyer and founder of Garcia Law Group, where he practices criminal defense. He attended California State University Fullerton and later Thomas Jefferson School of Law where he was elected by his peers as President of the Moot Court Honor Society and was an Editor of the Thomas Jefferson Law Review. Both memberships sharpened his advocacy skills in oral argument and writing—skills that later proved to be invaluable in the courtroom.
Mr. Garcia is a graduate of the Trial Advocacy Program of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. There, Mr. Garcia learned to think like a prosecutor and was provided the opportunity to prosecute cases in Los Angeles. Mr. Garcia is also a graduate of the California Public Defenders Association, Trial Skills Institute and the Gerry Spence Method in Wyoming. A specialized training focused exclusively on criminal defense trials.
As an advocate for access to justice, Mr. Garcia provides pro bono legal services to victims of domestic violence in restraining order hearings and others in criminal defense matters. In his spare time, Mr. Garcia enjoys dog training, cooking, and wine-tasting.
Teresa Gutierrez | Trustee (Appointed)
Teresa Gutierrez founded Teresa Gutierrez Law 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. 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 her time to pro bono cases and causes with some of Los Angeles’ largest public interest firms. 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.
Maximillian Casillas | Trustee (Appointed)
Maximillian Casillas is a labor and employment attorney at Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld. Mr. Casillas’s practice focuses on helping underpaid workers recover what they are owed through litigation, and representing unions and workers in state and federal courts, employment and labor arbitrations, and administrative hearings. Prior to joining Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld, he worked as a civil litigation attorney managing a significant caseload, including jury trials.
Mr. Casillas graduated law school in 2016 from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Upon entering Loyola, he was awarded a public interest scholarship in recognition of his previous work experience, demonstrated commitment to helping working people, and work in public service.
While attending Loyola, he had extensive experience as the Co-President of the National Lawyers Guild Loyola and Chair, Loyola CARES (2015 – 2016), which provided legal services to underserved communities. He was also a staff writer for the International and Comparative Law Review.
Mr. Casillas is excited to help the Board give back and uplift the community.
Selene Estrada-Villela | Student Trustee
Selene is a third-year evening student at Loyola Law School with a concentration in public interest law. She is a first-generation law student and daughter of immigrant parents from Mexico and Guatemala. Selene has a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Social Welfare from UCLA.
Since 2015, Selene has been a social worker with child protective services and has continued to work throughout law school while also externing with public interest organizations such as the Western Center on Law & Poverty and Public Counsel.
Selene is looking forward to being MABA’s student trustee for this upcoming year while she continues to remain actively involved at Loyola. This year, Selene is working with children involved in the juvenile justice system as a certified law student in Loyola’s Juvenile Justice Clinic. She is also a staffer with Loyola’s International and Comparative Law Review and a board member of several student organizations including La Raza and ACLU-Loyola.