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HISPANIC BAR ASSOCIATION

ORANGE COUNTY


2022 Officers & Directors


Christopher Ayala, President

Christopher J. Ayala established his first law practice in downtown Santa Ana in 2012 which later transformed into Ayala Law Group, APC in 2017. He graduated with Honors obtaining his bachelor's degree in Business Administration Management and a minor in Philosophy from California State University, Fullerton.

He is an alumnus from Whittier Law School where he received his Juris Doctor degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Mr. Ayala was immersed in his law school experience being involved in Law Review and Trial Advocacy Honors Board. His dedication was rewarded when he received two CALI Awards for Legal Writing and Professional Skills.

Upon graduation, Mr. Ayala was admitted to the California State Bar in December 2011. His passion for the law and his community led him to establish his law firm where his practice focuses on criminal and immigration law.

Mr. Ayala is committed to providing his clients with legal representation based on integrity, compassion, and experience. He goes above and beyond to meet his clients’ goals and objectives in order to zealously represent every single client. More than 90% of his clientele is Hispanic and monolingual Spanish speakers, and he has the natural ability to connect with them and understand their unique circumstances in their own language and culture.

He is the proud son of immigrant parents who paved the way for his future and success as an attorney. His parents instilled in him the fire to make a future in a new country and reach for the American Dream. 


Jeannette Garcia, President Elect

Jeannette Garcia is a family law attorney. After six years of working for various prestigious family law firms, Ms. Garcia opened her own family law practice in Orange County. Ms. Garcia is a first generation Latina and proud daughter of immigrant parents. She grew up in Orange County and attended the University of California, Irvine ("UCI") where she received two Bachelor degrees in Criminology, Law and Society and Psychology and Social Behavior.

Ms. Garcia 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. Ms. Garcia has been a member of the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association since 2013.

Ms. Garcia is married and has two daughters- a three-year old and a newborn. When not working or administering her law practice, she spends her time with her family.


Shelly Aronson, Vice President

Shelly Aronson has been practicing criminal defense law in Orange County for the past 35 years, 27 of which were with the Orange County Public Defender as a Senior Trial Attorney.

Ms. Aronson’s practice involves misdemeanor and felony cases in the criminal justice system. Ms. Aronson specializes in substance abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness, and other issues related to criminal behavior.

Ms. Aronson devotes much of her time to pro bono and lo bono work representing the indigent and minorities, spending time helping clients with rehabilitation and achieving 2nd chances in life. Ms. Aronson also volunteers hundreds of hours every year as a Temporary Judge in Orange County in the traffic, small claims, and collaborative courts.

After a lifelong career in government and community service in the Hispanic community, Ms. Aronson is proud to continue her work with the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association. She looks forward to working with the Board again this year on educational and social issues, issues of inequality, and helping students obtain scholarships and better education. Shelly will continue working to enhance the quality of life for the Hispanic community.


Diana Gonzalez, Secretary

Diana Gonzalez was born and raised in Orange County, graduating from UCLA in 2007 and from Southwestern Law School in 2011.

She worked at Fontes Figueroa Law Group APC for six years as an Associate gaining experience in the areas of Immigration Law and Workers Compensation.

From 2013 to 2018, she was a proud Board Member of the OCHBA participating in various committees and events. In January of 2019, she opened her own office in downtown Santa Ana, focusing in Immigration, Family, and Criminal Law.


Laura Hassan, CFO

Laura Hassan has been practicing law since 2017 and focuses on business litigation and family law.

Ms. Hassan completed her undergraduate studies at California State University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and Spanish studies. Ms. Hassan received her legal education from Whittier Law School, where she was a member of the Trial Advocacy Honors Board and served as Vice President of the Hispanic American Law Student Association. Ms. Hassan earned her Juris Doctor in 2016.

Ms. Hassan is admitted to practice before the California Supreme Court and the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Ms. Hassan has participated in various litigations since 2017. She has also dedicated her time to pro bono programs, assisted with immigrant and refugee children, and worked to combat slum housing. Ms. Hassan is a member of the Orange County Bar Association, Orange County Hispanic Bar Association, California Lawyers Association, and the Orange County Women’s Lawyers Association. 


Sasha Tymkowicz, Immediate Past 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, she has been devoted to meeting the needs of the Latino community.

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.


Catherine Navarro, Director

Ms. Navarro was born and raised in Orange County, California and is currently a Senior Attorney at Fontes Law Group, PC.

She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in June of 2011 and earned her Bachelor Degrees in Chicana/Chicano Studies and Global & International Studies with an emphasis in Latin America.

In May of 2016, Ms. Navarro graduated Magna Cum Laude and received her Juris Doctor Degree from Whittier Law School.

In June of 2017, Ms. Navarro was admitted to practice law in the State of California and the Central District of California.

Ms. Navarro represents immigrants and their families before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service and before the Executive Office of Immigration Review in Immigration Court.

Ms. Navarro also represents families in Family Law Court and Probate Court. In 2020, Ms. Navarro started doing pro bono work for Laura’s House.


Frank Chirino, Director

Frank Chirino is a trial lawyer at the law firm of DiMarco Araujo Montevideo, specializing in the area of catastrophic personal injury.

Having spent more than a decade on the defense side, litigating cases on behalf of major insurance companies, he possesses a comprehensive understanding of injury litigation, which he proudly employs to achieve the best possible results for his clients.

Frank has resolved countless cases through settlement negotiations, mediation and trial. As an advocate for injured parties, it is his honor to work tirelessly to ensure that his clients receive fair treatment and just compensation.

Frank is active in several local organizations, including the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, the Consumer Attorneys of California, and the OC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, he is a member of Business Networking International’s first all Spanish-speaking chapter – Lideres Sin Limites.

He is an avid martial artist, with almost 35 years of experience, and has black belts in three separate disciplines.


Linda Igarashi, Director

Linda Igarashi is a corporate partner at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP and is a member of the firm's Healthcare, Private Equity, Food and Beverage, and Latin America teams.

Linda represents public and private companies, private equity firms, strategic investors and financial institutions. Her practice encompasses mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity investments, and general corporate governance matters.

Linda co-leads Sheppard Mullin's Orange County Diversity and Inclusion Working Group. She is the daughter of immigrants from both Mexico and Japan, is fluent in Spanish, and the first to attend college in her family.

Lupe Gonzalez, Director

Ms. Gonzalez graduated among the top of her undergraduate class at the University of California, Los Angeles and then attended University of California, Irvine’s top tier law school where she earned her Juris Doctor degree.

While in law school Ms. Gonzalez earned awards for her trial advocacy and served as a certified law clerk for the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

After law school, Ms. Gonzalez became a litigation associate at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and then at Klein and Wilson.

Ms. Gonzalez also served as General Counsel for GenGirl Media, Inc. during the acquisition of its largest brand by a multi-media corporation. Currently, she serves as Corporate Counsel for MaxLinear, Inc.

Victor Franco, Director

Victor Franco is the principal attorney at the Law Offices of Victor Franco, A Professional Law Corporation.

Victor was raised in Santa Ana and attended college at UC Irvine, and law school at Western State University.

Victor has a Certificate in Criminal Law, and his practice focuses on Crimmigration the intersection of criminal law and immigration.

Victor advises non-U.S. citizens about the immigration consequences of criminal convictions, he represents clients in bond and removal proceedings in immigration court, and advocates for post-conviction relief in criminal court.

Many criminal attorneys consult with Victor when they have non U.S. citizen clients, and often refer those clients to Victor for immigration friendly plea deals and jury trials

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 handles general litigation matters as well as personal injury claims. She is admitted to all of the California Federal Courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Karla Bustamante, Director

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 under-graduate 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, 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. 


Adrian Canzoneri, Director

Adrian is a seasoned and diverse business litigator with the law firm Theodora Oringher. Adrian handles all types of business and commercial litigation matters, including labor and employment litigation matters, for a wide-ranging base of clients.

Adrian has represented clients ranging in size from the largest financial institutions in the country, to local small businesses and individuals. No matter the size, Adrian is passionate about his practice and zealously strives to obtain successful results for his clients.

Born and raised in Los Angeles County, Adrian obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University, with a minor in Business Administration. He then obtained his juris doctorate from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles in 2009. Adrian is admitted to practice in the state of California, as well as being admitted to practice before all Federal Courts in California, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Adrian is excited to serve as a Director on the 2022 Board of the OCHBA. In addition to being involved in the OCHBA, Adrian is also an active member of the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Orange County Bar Association, the Mexican American Bar Association, and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. 


Jennifer Corona, Director

Jenny was born and raised in Orange County and is an a family law attorney in Irvine California.

She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2012, and obtained her masters from Johns Hopkins in 2016.

In 2020 Jenny graduated from Western State College of Law where she was president of her school's Latino Bar Association. Prior to being admitted as an attorney in 2021, Jenny was a bilingual educator in South Texas.

Jenny is a proud daughter of Mexican immigrants and loves to give back to the community, especially the one that that gave her so much. 

Christopher Hernandez, Director

Chris grew up locally in Boyle Heights. Chris is an Alumni of UC Irvine, Cal. Western, and the Trial Lawyers College.

He practices personal injury, criminal, and family law.

In addition, Chris shares an office with Llyod Freeburg in Fullerton and also has an office at the Riverside Bar Building. Chris is also an Adjunct Professor. Chris resides with his beautiful wife. 


Jorge Ledezma, Director

Jorge Ledezma is the founding partner of Ledezma, Robles & Tomic, LLP, located in Santa Ana, California. Main areas of practice are personal injury, civil rights, criminal defense and civil litigation.

Mr. Ledezma was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he studied at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara. After moving to California, Mr. Ledezma earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with an emphasis in philosophy from California State University, Fullerton. Mr. Ledezma earned a Juris Doctor Degree from Trinity Law School.

Mr. Ledezma is a member of the State Bar of California, American Bar Association, Orange County Bar Association, Orange County Hispanic Bar Association, Top 100 National Trial Lawyers, Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association and Consumer Attorneys of California.

Gabriela Ramirez, Director

Gabriela is a criminal defense attorney with The Law Office of Brian Gurwitz.

She began a career in private practice after working for six years as a Deputy Public Defender with the Orange County Public Defender's Office.

Gabriela has zealously represented clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies at all stages of criminal proceedings, including at trial and in post conviction matters.

Before practicing criminal defense, she spent four years as an immigration attorney.

Gabriela was raised in Paramount, California and is the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants



Patricia Santamaria, Director

Ms. Patricia Santamaria is an associate attorney with Yanez & Associates. She grew up in Orange County, California where she attended the California State University at Fullerton, earning her Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development.

During her undergraduate studies, Ms. Santamaria worked for non-profit organizations providing a wide range of services to under-privileged men and women, at-risk youth, foster youth, veterans and survivors of domestic violence, and drug & alcohol recovery from various ages and diverse backgrounds.

Patricia Santamaria understands the importance of giving back and helping others. This desire for helping others combined with her personal experiences is what steered her towards a career in law.

Her practice focuses solely on Family Law matters. She comprehends the difficult and emotional process involved with family law matters and represents clients through the process with dignity and compassion.

She is a recipient of the Wally Davis Scholarship offered by the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association. Ms. Santamaria is a member of the Orange County Bar Association, Family Law section and Orange County Hispanic Bar Association.

Maria Elena Parada

Maria Elena Parada was born in California and raised part of her life in Guadalajara, Mexico. She describes herself as a Tapatia at heart.

Ms. Parada graduated from the California State University, Fullerton and earned her Bachelor's Degree in Molecular Biology. She received her legal education from Whittier Law School, where she earned a Certificate in International Law.

Ms. Parada was part of Whittier Law School's Law Review Journal, a member of the Trial Advocacy team, and served on the Student Body Association as a 3L representative.

Ms. Parada has been practicing law since 2018. She is an associate at Ford, Walker, Haggerty & Behar LLP. Her practice focuses on civil litigation with an emphasis in insurance defense and personal injury matters involving automobile accidents and as well as premises liability. Her fluency in Spanish has allowed her to connect with clients to provide effective representation.



Manohar Sukumar

Manohar is the Supervising Attorney for the Health Law Unit at Public Law Center (PLC). Before PLC, he worked more than four years as a Staff Attorney at the Health Consumer Action Center of Legal Aid Society of Orange County. There, Manohar worked on a Blue Shield Foundation grant project to make policy recommendations to the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) regarding the Low Income Health Project (Medical Services Initiative).

He also conducted outreach to educate community stakeholders about the Affordable Care Act. At PLC, Manohar continues to engage in consumer advocacy for indigent clients dealing with health care benefits issues, and also works extensively with medical-legal partnerships, including a major partnership with OCHCA to serve HIV/AIDS patients.

He holds an undergraduate degree from UCLA, a Master of Public Health in Community Health Education from Cal State Long Beach, and a law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School.

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
Hon. 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

Darrell White

Yolanda Torres

Bettina Yanez
Sasha Tymkowicz


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