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Providing Legal Assistance in the Aftermath of Disaster Part II

Speaker(s): Aaron P. Minnis, Deborah L. Fox, Jason J. Galek, Kaitlin Kalna Darwal, Lisa M. Newstrom, Nicholas M. Baran, Nils C. Rosenquest, Peter A. Shelton, Yasmine S. Mehmet
Recorded on: Apr. 6, 2016
PLI Program #: 170048

Aaron Minnis, a partner at Minnis & Smallets, has been practicing law in California since 1999. Aaron advises executives, professionals, attorneys, and employees through complex and sensitive work issues. He has litigated numerous employment cases, and resolved cases at mediation, trial, and after appeal.

Deborah Fox is a certified specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of San Francisco School of Law, and is a member of the Trust and Estates Section of the San Francisco Bar Association and the State Bar of California.

Jason J. Galek is a tax attorney certified as a specialist in taxation law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Jason represents individuals and business entities in tax controversy and planning matters before the Internal Revenue Service, California Franchise Tax Board, and Board of Equalization. Jason has an LL.M. in Taxation from Golden Gate University School of Law and currently teaches real estate taxation as an adjunct professor at Golden Gate University School. Jason is Treasurer of the San Francisco Barristers Board of Directors, a member of the Bay Area Young Tax Lawyers executive committee, and a member of the San Francisco Tax Club.

Kaitlin Kalna Darwal is a senior attorney and supervisor of the Humanitarian Relief Program in the immigration program at the Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (“CLSEPA”).  Kaitlin’s main areas of focus are removal defense, asylum, U visas, and the intersection of immigration and criminal law.  Prior to joining CLSEPA in May 2013 as a staff attorney in the immigration program, Kaitlin was a deportation defense attorney at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP, an attorney with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the U.S. Legal Unit, and a contract attorney with the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies and the CSS/Newman Special Master of Appeals.  Kaitlin received her law degree at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and her undergraduate degree from Boston University.

Nicholas Baran is a sole practitioner in family law and immigration law. From 2007 to 2012, he was the supervising attorney for family law at the Justice and Diversity Center of the San Francisco Bar Association. In 2006, he was the recipient of the California State Bar Pro Bono Service Award for Recently Admitted Attorneys. He holds Bachelor's Degrees in Mechanical Engineering and German Studies from Stanford University, and a J.D. from Hastings College of the Law.

Nils Rosenquest has more than 35 years’ experience in private practice representing small business owners and individuals in a real estate and business practice. His practice divides its time equally between transactions and litigation. He also spent five years as a managing partner in a small real estate development company, weathered the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 and counseled clients who suffered damage to their businesses and real estate in that disaster.

An honors graduate of Dartmouth College in English literature, Mr. Rosenquest attended Hastings College of the Law and graduated in 1979.  In 1981, he formed a law partnership and has maintained the same practice ever since. AV rated by Martindale Hubbell, Nils has been admitted to all state and federal courts in California, the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, the United States Court of Claims, and the United States Tax Court.  He also serves as a pro tem judge in the San Francisco Superior Court on several panels as well as on the board of directors for a San Francisco community development organization.

Peter Shelton practices estate planning, probate and trust litigation in Oakland.  He received his J.D., Summa Cum Laude from American University in Washington, D.C., and his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley.  He is the immediate past President of the East Bay Trusts and Estates Lawyers, a local bar association.  He is frequently appointed by the court as a neutral fiduciary or Guardian Ad Litem in probate and trust matters.  He is a member of the Trust & Estates Section of the State Bar of California and a qualified Educating Seniors speaker.

Yasmine S. Mehmet is a certified family law specialist and has been practicing family law both in Vancouver, Canada and in San Francisco for over 25 years.  Her practice involves a broad range of cases from pro bono matters to complex high asset matters.  She was the prior Legislation Chair of the Family Law Executive Committee of the State Bar of California and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.  She was the Education Chair of the Family Law section of the Bar Association of San Francisco for a dozen years and has been a standing member of the Sargent Shriver grant committee since its inception in 2011.  She has been designated a Super Lawyer each year since 2010 and is the recipient of the 2009 State Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award.  She has also been honored with a number of other local awards, including the 2006 and 2012 James P. Prevolos award and the Bar Association of San Francisco Outstanding Volunteer in Public Service Award for many years.

Lisa Newstrom is Managing Attorney of Bay Area Legal Aid’s Santa Clara County Regional Office.  In her practice, Lisa has represented clients in matters regarding safety-net programs such as SSI, CalWORKS, Food Stamps, Medi-Cal and General Assistance.  Lisa serves on several regional task forces including the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking and the Santa Clara County Public Benefits Task Force.  She has served as faculty at Benchmark Institute and Practising Law Institute (PLI) and trained hundreds of attorneys, advocates, and social services providers on legal issues in public benefits, particularly for youth with disabilities, noncitizens, and survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.