2 Daniel Borca graduated from the University of California, San Diego in He received his Juris Doctorate from the UCLA School of Law in 2014, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Chicana/o-Latina/o Law Review ( ). As a student, he was a finalist in the 16 th Annual National Latino Law Student Association s Moot Court Competition; and a participant in a conference on racial justice in Bogotá, Columbia. During law school, he clerked for Bay Area Legal Aid (2012). Last year, Mr. Borca served as a Law Clerk for the Central Felonies Unit in this Office. The previous year, he was an Honors Law Clerk here for a variety of units. He is one of the best Law Clerks in this honors program since its inception, wrote Deputy District Attorney Oanh Tran, who went to the same middle school as Mr. Borca in East San Jose. Daniel is smart, quick on his feet, and hungry to be the best prosecutor he can be. Mr. Borca went to Bellarmine College Preparatory (2004) on a full academic scholarship. The son of a working class single parent, Mr. Borca worked to help support his family as a bus boy, custodian, and maintenance worker. The youth educator for the YWCA of Silicon Valley (2009) was always drawn to giving back to the community that had given him his start, his friends, his youth mentors, and even his used clothing. Mr. Borca said that his local East Side San Jose roots had conflicting influences when it came to his chosen profession, I know what it s like to have friends who have gone through the criminal justice system both as criminals and victims. The consensus growing up in his neighborhood was that defense lawyers were the good guys; prosecutors were the bad guys. College and his experiences at the DA s office revealed otherwise. Along with holding criminals accountable, the prosecutors Mr. Borca witnessed were trying to solve the problems he saw plaguing his community delinquency, drugs, gangs. When he heard he had been hired as a prosecutor, Mr. Borca was a bit anxious to tell his neighborhood friends. Their resounding support surprised him. Daniel, that s what we need. We need good people on that side. And Oh, hey, so I got these parking tickets
3 Jonathan R. Ceseña graduated in 2003 from Santa Clara University, where he studied philosophy and played rugby. In 2008, he received his law degree from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the International Law Review. Mr. Ceseña had been working as a Deputy Trial Counsel for the State Bar since He has led vertical prosecutions and investigations into violations of the Business and Professions Code and the Rules of Professional Conduct. From 2008 to 2012, he served as an Assistant State s Attorney with the Cook County State s Attorney s Office in Chicago. Mr. Ceseña prosecuted a wide variety of misdemeanor and felony cases, taking more than 100 cases to bench trial, working in the Juvenile, Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Child Support Enforcement divisions. In 2012, the prosecutor was on his way to go salmon fishing in a city harbor when he saw two men attacking a gay couple. When he yelled at them to stop, one of them turned on him. They grappled, punched, and kicked. Then the other came and stabbed him repeatedly with a broken bottle. He went back to work less than a month later. As he began prosecuting a burglary case, it struck him that the victim was terrified that the suspects would somehow find her. His newfound empathy with that fear was almost overpowering, and he realized it only strengthened his passion for prosecution. Two years later, the two men were convicted of the attack. One defendant was sentenced to 25 years. The son of a Santa Clara police officer and a San Jose school teacher, Mr. Ceseña came back home to be near his family as soon as he recovered from his serious injuries. It was time to try to realize his professional dream. When he was a teenager, Mr. Ceseña wanted to follow in his father s footsteps and become a local police officer. His father had urged him to become a local prosecutor. He said it was far less dangerous.
4 Alisa Esser-Kahn graduated summa cum laude from Emory University in Atlanta, GA with a double major in Psychology and Sociology in In 2014, Ms. Esser-Kahn graduated cum laude from University of California, Hastings College of the Law. While there, she received the Moot Court Award: Best Oral Argument (2012). Ms. Esser-Kahn began her career at the District Attorney s Office as a 2L Honors Law Clerk in 2013, and served as an Honors Post Bar Clerk in In 2012, she was a Law Clerk with the San Francisco District Attorney s Office in the Child Assault Unit under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Leslie A. Cogan. Alisa is a reliable, diligent, hardworking individual who is very self-motivated, wrote ADA Cogan. She demonstrated a commitment to her work in the District Attorney s Office that was second to none. Ms. Esser-Kahn grew up outside of Detroit, Michigan with a social worker for a mother and a schoolteacher turned psychology professor for a father. She was introduced to psychology and social injustice through their experiences. Over the years, she developed an interest in the psychological toll of child abuse which was strengthened during her internship at the Wayne County Prosecutor s Office in She recalled watching a DA interact with a child victim throughout the trial. I saw how much time and care the DA took with that child. What a difference it made, how the child felt about the process. I saw how nervous that kid was at the beginning of the trial and how each time she saw the DA she felt a little bit better. I saw how the verdict made her happy. I saw, she said. What a difference a good prosecutor makes.
5 Michael Gilman graduated cum laude from Tulane University in New Orleans in He received his law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in Since 2010, Mr. Gilman has worked at the Santa Cruz County District Attorney s Office. As an Assistant District Attorney on the Sexual Assault Unit, he successfully prosecuted a child molester who was sentenced to 153 years-to-life in prison. He also co-prosecuted the first Familial DNA sexual assault case in California history. In addition to his responsibilities in the Sexual Assault Unit, Mr. Gilman concurrently worked in the Homicide Unit and Vehicular Manslaughter Unit. He previously worked in the Domestic Violence Unit. From 2008 to 2010, Mr. Gilman worked as a Deputy District Attorney at the Fresno County District Attorney s Office. He was assigned to the Misdemeanor Unit, Juvenile Hall Unit, and Felony Unit. Fresno County District Attorney Elizabeth Egan awarded Mr. Gilman a Certificate of Recognition for the most Misdemeanor Jury Trials in In 2007, Mr. Gilman took a Law Clerk Externship with the UC Hastings Criminal Practice Clinic and worked for a semester in the Alameda County District Attorney s Office. During his undergraduate studies, Mr. Gilman tutored developmentally-challenged children in the New Orleans Public School District. He also volunteered at the New Orleans AIDS Project. He has lived in New Orleans, Rome, and spent a summer in Jackson, Mississippi while interning at the Hinds County Public Defender s office, often interviewing new clients and assisting with trial preparation. One of the trial cases involved a defendant who brutally raped a woman and beat her with a liquor bottle. After the experience, Mr. Gilman knew that he wanted to pursue a career as a prosecutor. I remember feeling for the victim. I wanted to be in her corner fighting for her. I care about my victims and have a strong personal desire to obtain justice for them. When he isn t prosecuting cases Mr. Gilman enjoys rock climbing, hiking, stand up paddleboarding, and being outdoors with friends and family.
6 Christopher A. Lamiero graduated from California State University, East Bay in Mr. Lamiero received his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Francisco School of Law in Since 1993, Mr. Lamiero has been a prosecutor at the Alameda County District Attorney s Office, working a broad variety of cases including robbery, kidnapping, extortion, rape, narcotics, gangs - and a dozen murder trials. He was member of the Office s Officer-Involved Shooting team. He managed a variety of teams including the Misdemeanor Trial Unit and the Public Assistance Fraud Division. He has tried 52 cases to verdict, 27 of them felonies. His most recent case load of preliminary hearings included four special circumstances murders and five multiple-defendant murder cases. Mr. Lamiero s has quarterbacked a number of high-profile cases including two that made major national headlines. He led the investigation into the 2007 murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey and Your Black Muslim Bakery, which was a front for a criminal gang organization. Mr. Lamiero also successfully prosecuted three men for the 2002 murder of transgender teen Gwen Araujo. If there are 100 people in the courtroom or the only person is the mother of a homicide victim, I m going to prosecute the case in the same fashion, the prosecutor said. Prior to his legal career, Mr. Lamiero spent more than a decade working as a Teamster truck driver working at the Port of Oakland s shipping terminal. I didn t want to work down at the waterfront my entire life, Lamiero said. He thought about journalism. But he had always admired lawyers, even if his only exposure to their craft was through watching actors like Gregory Peck, Spencer Tracy, Paul Newman and Raymond Burr in the Perry Mason reruns. Lamiero admitted: Trying cases is a serious business, but there has always been a thespian in me.
7 Joanna Lee graduated from UCLA in She graduated in 2013 from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law where she was the Vice President of the Korean American Law Students Association, received the Appellate Advocacy, Top Student Witkin/CALI Award, and was inducted into the UC Hastings Pro Bono Society. At Hastings, Lee was an Editor for the Constitutional Law Quarterly and an international finalist in the Thomas Tang International Moot Court competition. She was a Deputy District Attorney in Placer County during 2014, trying seven misdemeanor jury trials and getting five guilty verdicts. Previously, Ms. Lee was Post Bar Law Clerk/Volunteer Deputy District Attorney with the Misdemeanor Unit at this Office in In 2013, she served as a Legal Extern with the California Attorney General s Office. In 2012, she was a Law Clerk in the San Francisco District Attorney s Office and served as an Extern with this state's 6th District Court of Appeal. Associate Justice Nathan D. Mihara said of Ms. Lee: She is articulate, poised, and has the ability to grasp quickly complex legal issues. In 2011, Ms. Lee was a Law Clerk for the Alameda County District Attorney s Office. Before she went to law school, Ms. Lee taught English in a rural elementary school in Chungju, South Korea in While there she created a training manual for future teachers at the school. Ms. Lee is proud of her Korean culture. Her father immigrated to Santa Clara County as a doctor of Eastern medicine. She didn t go to a traditional doctor until she attended UCLA. During her third year in college, working at the Domestic Violence Unit of the Los Angeles City Attorney s Office, she sat with the children and listened to the victims stories and realized it was a calling. I thought to myself; I could do this, she said. I feel like this matters.
8 Olusere Olowoyeye graduated from Dartmouth College in He received his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School in Since 2012, Mr. Olowoyeye has been a Federal Prosecutor with the U.S Attorney s Office in Sacramento. As an Assistant U.S Attorney, he has spearheaded a wide variety of cases including drug trafficking investigations with the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. From 2005 to 2012, Mr. Olowoyeye worked as a Deputy District Attorney for the San Joaquin County District Attorney s Office, an office where he had interned as a 19 year-old. There, Mr. Olowoyeye conducted more than 40 jury trials, including 25 felony trials. Nine of these trials involved gang charges along with eight attempted murder cases. As a rookie misdemeanor prosecutor he hit a dispiriting patch of five acquittals in a row. Upon re-evaluation of his efforts, he said he realized, Evidence in the context of a trial to a jury is often subtle and layered. It requires context and corroboration. I learned that my experience in law school and moot court only provided me with certain tools. I began working harder. I believe I retained my passion and enjoyment of trial work because I went through my early struggles and choose to embrace the lessons of that period rather than run from them. For a year, 2004 to 2005, he was an Associate Attorney for the firm Herum Crabtree in Stockton, working on a wide variety of casework including environmental and water litigation, commercial contract disputes, and anti-trust violations. Mr. Olowoyeye was born in Canada, the son of a cardiologist. The family moved to Nigeria for eight years and then back to North America seeking more stability and safety. They eventually settled in the Stockton area. By the time he was in law school, Mr. Olowoyeye was determined to be prosecutor. He was intrigued with the interactions between prosecutors and police. Being young and black in the U.S. it was paramount in my mind. I knew excellent police officers and I knew bad officers. As a prosecutor you are in the unique position to evaluate cases on what is lawful and what is right.
9 Audrey Pak graduated from Yale University in Ms. Pak received her law degree from Emory University School of Law in 2014, which she attended on a merit scholarship. She also served as a Managing Editor of the school s International Law Review, and the President of the Asian American Law Students Association. She was a Post-Bar Certified Law Clerk for this Office last year, with the Major Fraud Unit. Said Deputy District Attorney Judy Lee: I ve worked with many Law Clerks in the past and Audrey ranks near the top of that list. She served a wide variety of internships and clerkships including in the DeKalb County District Attorney s Office in Atlanta, Georgia (2014); the California Attorney General s Office (2013), the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (2012) and with the U.S. Attorney s Office (2012) in Tampa, Fla. From 2009 to 2011, she worked as Lead Paralegal on federal healthcare cases for the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division. She developed her passion for the law as a high school speech and debate team member and a Mock Trial participant whose Reno, Nevada high school team won the state championships. She was an intern for the United Kingdom Parliament in Born in Seoul, Ms. Pak is a fluent Korean speaker. She found inspiration in her single mother who suffered through slights and discrimination for her imperfect English. So Ms. Pak became her family s American voice. My Korean name Eunsoo means Milky Way. To me it embodies having an attitude of always looking beyond what seems impossible.
10 Robert Philbrook graduated cum laude with a bachelor s degree in history in 2008 from Santa Clara University. In 2012 he graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. While in law school, he was the Executive Managing Editor of the Law Review ( ). Mr. Philbrook comes to this Office after serving two years with the Orange County District Attorney s Office as a Deputy District Attorney (2012). During his first year, he prosecuted 12 misdemeanor jury trials, with 10 guilty convictions. He also did 124 preliminary hearings. For the past year he was assigned to the Juvenile Justice Center, where he completed 28 court trials. Mr. Philbrook interned with the San Mateo County District Attorney s Office in the fall of He also interned as a Law Clerk in this Office in the summer of While here in the Misdemeanor Unit, he handled 21 motions to suppress and six bench trials. What impressed me the most was his ability to throw away the script and see all the moving pieces in the courtroom, wrote his supervisor, Deputy District Attorney David Soares. He was able to think on his feet, to take witnesses on their own terms, and to elicit the subtle facts and details necessary to prevail. He was a Judicial Extern with the San Francisco Superior Court, under the supervision of the Hon. Anne-Christine Massullo in In 2010, he was a Legal Intern with the San Francisco City Attorney s Office. While there he was assigned to the Worker s Compensation Team. As long as I can remember I ve wanted to be lawyer. And in law school the question quickly became Where can I really do justice as opposed to arguing about money? Being a prosecutor, that s a perfect place to do justice. That sense never leaves me. I come to work Monday through Friday excited to do justice for the people. It s cheesy, I know, but when I leave work every week I say Sad Friday. And when I come to work I say Happy Monday. In between Friday and Monday, the prosecutor reads classic literature and trains in Krav Maga, the Israeli Army s self-defense system.
11 Jeff Rubin graduated from University of California, Berkeley in 1981 with high honors, Phi Beta Kappa; and from UC Berkeley s School of Law in He has worked for the Alameda County District Attorney s Office since 1986, most recently as a Senior Deputy District Attorney. For the past 14 years, Mr. Rubin has been in charge of his Office s Training and Research Unit, which produces in-house training and MCLE legal training videos and memos for distribution throughout the state. He has taught on a wide variety of topics and developed particular expertise in the areas of discovery, Fourth and Fifth Amendment law, and jury selection. He also has produced hundreds of training videos for law enforcement on behalf of POST. For the past several years, Mr. Rubin has managed his office s Brady Bank, served on the office s in-house Brady Committee, participated in the Officer-Involved Shooting Review Team, handled MCLE compliance, and been a member of the Office s Tough Mudder team. Before his current assignment, Mr. Rubin was assigned to handle vertical prosecutions of major narcotic vendors. Other previous assignments included spending time on the Felony Law and Motion Team, the Felony Trial Team, and various Calendar Teams. Before becoming a prosecutor, Mr. Rubin held a myriad of jobs, including one at a zoo called the Pocono Wild Animal Farm where he was responsible for feeding the animals and cleaning their cages. In response to being asked about some of his biggest mistakes, Mr. Rubin recounted an incident at the zoo: When things were slow (and in violation of company policy) I would sometimes slip into the monkey enclosure to play with the monkey. One day, when I placed the monkey on my shoulders and stood in a dry moat the monkey used me to springboard over the surrounding concrete wall and scampered away. It appeared to be a premeditated act on the part of the monkey who had been cultivating me as a means of escape. The monkey s escape put all the zoo visitors at the risk of harm. I wasn t able to make amends because my employment was terminated shortly after the fact that I had been outsmarted by a monkey became apparent. Ever since, Mr. Rubin has tried to compensate for his mistake by helping prevent the escape of those who represent a risk of harm to the public. Mr. Rubin is very grateful for the opportunity to join an office that seeks to attain the highest level of ethical and effective prosecution. I like being a prosecutor for many of the same reasons almost anyone likes it: I want to be in a position where you can always do the right thing.
12 Sarah Scott graduated cum laude from Santa Clara University in 2007, where she was a member of the cross country team. In June 2014, she received her law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law. While there, Ms. Scott was a member of the Honors Moot Court and was Co-President of the Criminal Law Society. Ms. Scott began her career at this District Attorney s Office as a Bar Certified Intern with the Gangs Unit in 2013, and as a Post Bar Certified Intern in Wrote Deputy District Attorney Terri McLaughlin: She is intelligent, hard-working, and a total go-getter. In addition to her experience with our Office, in 2012 Ms. Scott was a Judicial Extern for the Sixth District Court of Appeal and Superior Court of California with Associate Justice Nathan D. Mihara and Judge Jacqueline Arroyo. In 2013, she interned at the Office of the District Attorney of San Mateo. While volunteering as a Law Clerk at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in 2013, she was able to see how victims are impacted by gun violence. Ms. Scott s interest in becoming a prosecutor stems from her experience working as a Legal Assistant at Gearing, Rackner, Engel and McGrath, LLP, a family law firm in Portland, Oregon. It was at this Office where she was exposed to the criminal aspects of family law. During a consultation, a client revealed she was a victim of domestic violence. The victim did not want file a restraining order at that time. Six months later, a more serious incident occurred. Ms. Scott felt that she could have helped the victim more as a prosecutor. After the second attack, I realized even if there is a restraining order, family law can only reach so far, Ms. Scott said. She says she has a special connection to the County that began as a high school student: I went on a recruiting trip to Santa Clara University to get a feel for their cross country team. At the end of season banquet, one of the seniors gave a speech about how he felt the team was his family and became emotional when he spoke about the impact four years of running had on his life. I knew that I wanted to become a part of something so special and committed to Santa Clara by the end of the weekend. I felt the same way when ADA Marc Buller gave his Rocks and Shoals speech. When he got choked up thinking about all the memories he had had with his Santa Clara D.A. family, I knew that this was a special Office and a place I wanted to contribute to as a Deputy District Attorney.
13 David M. Shabaglian graduated magna cum laude in 2002, from California State University, Fresno, where he played wide receiver for the Bulldogs. He received a law degree from Golden Gate University School of Law in Since 2011, he has been a Deputy District Attorney with the Fresno County District Attorney s Office. Mr. Shabaglian s assignments included Felony Trials, Domestic Violence and the Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Unit. He also serves on the Office s Officer-Involved Shooting Unit and in 2013 the Office assigned him his first murder case. Among his 20 successful felony jury trials, Mr. Shabaglian was the lead prosecutor in the high-profile case of a Fresno businessman who tried to hire a hit man to kill a city planning commissioner. The prosecutor tried the case against a well-known local lawyer, a former president of the State Bar. The defendant was found guilty after a highly-publicized and labyrinthine case, during which the main informant was shot in the chest on the day before trial. Last month, the Fifth District Court of Appeals affirmed the case. In 2012, he was named the Office s Top Gun Trial Attorney. Previously, he was a prosecutor for Contra Costa County ( ), completing 31 misdemeanor and five felony jury trials. Mr. Shabaglian twice clerked for the Contra Costa District Attorney s Office (2006, 2007). He also clerked for the Pacific Justice Institute (2005) in Sacramento, where he researched constitutional issues and drafted a summary judgment motion. Said Deputy District Attorney Carlos Vega: Because of David s career as a wide receiver for Fresno State, I will use a sports analogy to describe him. Simply put David is a five tool type of DDA. DDA Vega s listed Mr. Shabaglian s tools as: Intelligence, emotional-intelligence, confidence, command presence, and humility. I don t come from lawyers. When I was playing football, I considered going into seminary, Mr. Shabaglian said. Eventually, in law school, he realized that the courtroom was where he belonged a place where his faith and his highly-competitive nature could flourish. He recalled his junior year when he fumbled a reception that was returned for a touchdown against Ohio State in the first quarter. Frustrated and discouraged, he was pulled from the game. Later he dove and made an acrobatic catch that showed he kept his head in the game and was ready to make the next play. In the courtroom, with the judges and jurors, things happen that you can t always anticipate. You have to maintain your poise and pursue the cause of justice.
14 Tory Smith graduated in 2009 from UCLA. In 2014, Ms. Smith graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law. While there, she was elected to The Order of Barristers and was a semifinalist in the 2014 Saul Lefkowitz Regional Moot Court Tournament. In November 2013, San Diego Law Review published Ms. Smith s article, Achieving the DREAM: Extending Immigration Reform to Administrative Case Closure. Ms. Smith began her career at this District Attorney s Office in the fall of 2014 as a Certified Post Bar Clerk for the Sexual Assault Unit. She also volunteered here as a Deputy District Attorney. Wrote DDA Duffy Magilligan, Tory will be an excellent prosecutor. She is a skilled writer, she is enthusiastic, and she has good judgment. In 2014, Ms. Smith was a Certified Legal Intern for the San Diego County District Attorney s Sex Crimes Division. She was a Judicial Extern for the Honorable Cathy A. Bencivengo (2013) and Honorable Mitchell D. Dembin (2012), U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. While working as a Certified Legal Intern in the Juvenile Branch of the San Diego County District Attorney s Office in 2013, Ms. Smith litigated four felony and misdemeanor bench trials that resulted in two true findings and one settlement. In 2013, she was a Law Clerk for the U.S. Attorney s Office in San Diego. She was assigned to the Criminal Division and General Crimes Trial Section. In 2012, Ms. Smith was a Legal Intern for the Juvenile Court Project in Pittsburgh, PA. Ms. Smith attributes her resolve and strong work ethic to her experience as a professional equestrian rider and to her horse, Bantry Bay, fondly known as Corky. Ms. Smith and Corky, a spunky and athletic Irish sport horse, began their partnership in 2003 in the sport of Eventing, akin to an equestrian triathlon with three phases that test strength, endurance, and resilience. After a bad fall, Ms. Smith questioned whether she wanted to continue her equestrian career. But, she focused on strengthening basic skills to rebuild her confidence and relationship with Corky. Over time, she regained her enthusiasm. "It's about the journey. It's not about getting to the top, but what you experience along the way." She became one of the top young riders in the nation in She and Corky won a World Cup event in 2008, qualifying them to represent the United States at the 2008 World Cup in France. In 2011, Ms. Smith made a life-changing decision. She loved equestrian sports, but she also had aspirations to become a lawyer. Ms. Smith made the difficult decision to sell Corky, and used those proceeds to pay her law school expenses. "Whenever my studies became overwhelming, I reminded myself of what I gave up to go to law school. That became my motivation to succeed and to pursue the prosecutorial career that I had dreamed of."
15 Miguel Valdovinos graduated cum laude from California State University, Los Angeles in 1993 with a major in criminal justice. He then received his law degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law in 1996, where he was the recipient of the Student Trial Advocate of the Year. Mr. Valdovinos is a veteran prosecutor and has handled 89 jury trials ranging from low-level misdemeanors to special circumstances murders. Throughout his prosecutorial career, he has tried 16 murder trials and has obtained 35 life sentences. He began his prosecutorial career in 1996 at the Riverside County District Attorney s Office. In 1998, he received the Misdemeanor Prosecutor of the Year award. From mid 2000 to the end of 2010, he was a prosecutor, supervisor, and an executive manager at the Riverside County District Attorney s Office. During this time, Mr. Valdovinos served as a prosecutor for some of the most competitive units including Career Criminals, Gangs and Homicides. In 2002, Mr. Valdovinos received the Felony Prosecutor of the Year award. He was subsequently promoted to serve as a Supervising Deputy DA, a Chief Deputy DA, and an acting Assistant District Attorney. Since 2011, he served as the second-in-command at the Madera County District Attorney s Office. At the same time, he handled some of the most serious and high profile cases in the county and tried eight jury trials. In 2013, he was honored as the Prosecutor of the Year. Mr. Valdovinos also served on the Board of the California District Attorneys Association from 2012 to He was born in Mexico and lived in the Los Angeles area during his adolescence and as a young adult. Growing up in some pretty rough neighborhoods in Los Angeles, I did not appreciate gang members and others imposing their will and victimizing good and hard working law abiding residents. My family may have come from humble beginnings, but it was instilled in me that hard work and respect for the law and others are essential to progress in life. Mr. Valdovinos was the first of his family to graduate from college. While he initially intended to pursue a career as a police officer, he instead attended law school to become a prosecutor. The prosecutor loves spending time with his family and enjoys the outdoors and hunting. He is also a certified hunter education program instructor.
16 Eunice Yang graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Davis in While there she received the Human Corps Award for her volunteer work. Ms. Yang was a member of the Davis Honors Challenge Program, president of the National Asian Pacific American Women s Forum, and a member of the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity. In 2009, Ms. Yang received her law degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She received the top academic award for Negotiations & Settlement class, and the Woman of the Year Scholarship from the Asian Women s Alliance in She was also a member of the Hastings Communications & Entertainment Journal. Ms. Yang comes to this Office after working for more than five years as a litigation associate for Minami Tamaki, LLP in San Francisco. She has second-chaired three jury trials and led two arbitrations. Ms. Yang has handled over 150 cases and obtained millions of dollars for victims, including as a member of a team that negotiated the 14 th largest settlement in state history. She has argued over 50 motions, 30 depositions, and mediated 40 cases. In the summer of 2007, Ms. Yang was a Judicial Extern for the Superior Court of Santa Clara County under the supervision of the Honorable Erica R. Yew. As a Judicial Extern, she drafted a 50-page manual on organizing a Domestic Violence foundation which was adopted by the County. Her move from private litigation to becoming a public servant was inspired by a sense of responsibility for her family s Korean-American culture, and the tragedy of a childhood friend. In 2008, Ms. Yang was an intern for the San Francisco District Attorney Office s Juvenile Gang Homicide Unit. While working there, Ms. Yang noted that some Asian-American victims had refused to report crimes or cooperate with law enforcement. It struck home. She wondered if her parents felt the same way, held back by an unfamiliarity with the system, shame about being associated with a crime, or fear of causing trouble. She vowed to use her facility with Korean and her shared heritage to try to help break through the barriers. The tragedy struck nine years ago, while she was in law school. When she was a child in San Jose she had slipped away from church with Brian Chin, a pastor s son, to buy Slurpees with whatever pocket change he had saved. Years later, Chin was celebrating the birth of his first child in LA s Koreatown when he was attacked and stabbed to death by gang members. The murder scarred Ms. Yang and forged her intent to do something about violence. Life is unfair, Ms. Yang said. That crime was so grotesque and egregious. What solace can anyone get? Nothing will bring him back. But while we can t prevent bad things from happening, we can make sure the perpetrators will be held responsible. We can uphold principles.