LEGAL WRITING & RESEARCH 2016
Rebecca Arons received her JD from the USF School of Law, where she was the Managing Editor of the Law Review. Her MA in English from San Francisco State, and her BA from Barnard College. For the last five years, she has been a legal writing coach at two San Francisco law firms. Previously, she represented criminal appellants in the California Court of Appeal. Rebecca has taught Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis at USF. This is her eighth year teaching at UC Hastings. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.
A graduate of Hastings, Lou Biggio has been teaching LW&R and Moot Court since 1996. He has also taught at Empire School of Law, for Napa Valley Community College's paralegal program, and continuing legal education courses for lawyers. He has been general counsel for the Napa Superior Court, a deputy district attorney, a public defender, and a civil law and appellate practitioner. He had a published appellate opinion in early 2005. Currently, he focuses on transactional work and is pursuing his writing interests.
Casey Christensen graduated from Hastings in 1993, and received a BA in Economics-Business from UCLA in 1990. He is the principal of the Christensen Law Group, specializing in employment law and commercial litigation. He has taught LW&R since 2001, but not continuously. He also started teaching Moot Court at Hastings in 2012. He lives in the East Bay with his wife and two kids under eight (which explains a couple of the teaching absences). In his limited spare time, Casey likes to read, run, and play golf.
Joe is the managing partner of Creitz & Serebin LLP. Following several years as an ERISA litigator representing labor unions, several more as General Counsel to a web design firm, and 117 weeks as a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Joe started his own law practice in 2005 focusing on ERISA and consumer class action litigation.
Joe graduated from Hastings in 1992. In 1991, he and his teammate won the Western Regional Championship of the American Bar Association's National Appellate Advocacy Competition. In recent years, Joe has acted as a judge for numerous Moot Court competitions, including the ABA’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition, and the National Moot Court Competition. Joe received an LL.M. in Taxation cum laude from Golden Gate University in 2003. Joe has been teaching Legal Writing & Research and Moot Court at Hastings since 1994.
Joe is also a musician, a wood-worker, a terrific chef, a pretty poor basketball player, has a bionic heart, and is a huge fan (and part-owner) of the Green Bay Packers. He and his wife share their house in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco with nine guitars, too many Apple products to count, and one very cute dachshund named Choo Choo.
Jackie received her JD from Hastings with a concentration in Tax, and her undergraduate BA in Rhetoric at UC Berkeley. During her time at Hastings she volunteered with GAAP, competed on and coached several Moot Court teams, and was on HBLJ. She is currently in practice with her mother in Northern California where they focus on Estate and Business Planning. Prior to joining her mother's practice, she worked at Andersen Tax in the Alternative Investment Funds and Corporate Tax groups. Jackie enjoys attending Giants games, brunching, exploring San Francisco, and taking weekend trips.
Shashi Deb is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Hastings. Shashi Deb received her JD from Hastings College of the Law in 1994, and received her BA in Political Science/Economics with High Honors from UC Berkeley in 1991. At Hastings, Shashi was on the Moot Court Board, the Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, and was the Executive Coordinator for the Dean’s Group Teaching Assistants. After graduating from Hastings, Shashi practiced commercial and business litigation with McCutchen Doyle (now Morgan Lewis) in its Silicon Valley and San Francisco offices for several years. Subsequently, she focused her practice on intellectual property and business litigation at Cooley Godward LLP. At Cooley, she represented technology companies and other clients in all aspects of litigation and counseled clients on intellectual property and contractual issues.
Aside from her focus on legal education, Professor Deb is also passionate about children’s education and literacy. She has been on the board of several educational non-profits in the Bay Area, and is currently on the Crystal Springs Uplands School Board of Trustees. In her free time, Professor Deb enjoys spending time with her husband and three daughters, hiking, reading and traveling.
Bob is in private practice, where he specializes in appeals and writs in serious felony cases. He has handled several death penalty appeals in both state and federal court. Bob graduated from UC Berkeley with Honors and obtained his law degree from UC Davis. He clerked for the Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court before entering private practice.
Tiffany graduated from Hastings in 2011. While at Hastings, she participated in Moot Court as both a competitor and a student coach. She also served as student counsel for the Hastings Appellate Project, where she successfully represented a prison inmate in his civil rights claim against prison officials before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. After graduation, she worked for two years as a Deputy Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the California Department of Justice, where she drafted respondent’s briefs in appeals from felony convictions and responded to petitions for writs of habeas corpus. Tiffany then spent two and half years as an associate with the law firm of Archer Norris in Walnut Creek, where her practice focused primarily on civil appeals and writs. Recently, Tiffany opened her own practice, where she continues to handle appeals and writs in both criminal and civil cases.
Prior to law school, Tiffany attended UCLA, where she received a B.S. in Math/Economics and a B.A. in French and Linguistics. She was born and raised in Albany, California, and likes to play volleyball and practice the piano in her spare time.
As a student at UC Hastings, Michael Gowe was a member of the Jessup International Moot Court Competition team and the Hastings International and Comparative Law Review.
Michael is a Deputy Attorney General at the California Department of Justice. Working in the Employment and Administrative Mandate Section at the DOJ, he represents state agencies and officials in employment and constitutional law disputes. His practice is evenly divided between appellate and trial court matters in state and federal courts.
Steven Perez Harris
Steven Harris is Jeremy and Leia’s father and Maya’s husband. Jeremy is 9 ... and Leia will be 6 in late March! Maya is a licensed pyrotechnician and an accomplished event planner at Cal. Mr. Harris graduated from Cal with honors in history and developed national policy on the ADA with the Justice Department. He was Hastings’ top oral advocate in the intra-school Snodgrass Competition and was on a National Moot Court Competition Team. This is Mr. Harris’ 16th year teaching LW&R and Moot Court at Hastings. He works about 25-30 weeks a year as a one-on-one tutor for the California Bar Examination. He taught Essay Advantage, Performance Test Advantage, was a pre-bar professor for Bar/Bri Bar Review for several years, and now teaches a Performance Test class. He is the author of WINNIN’ TIME! and The Trigger List, two books about law school/bar exam preparation. He frequently defeats slot machines and blackjack dealers in Las Vegas, and he loves living in Alameda. Go Bears!
Wendy Hill graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1995, and from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School in 1998. Wendy has been teaching LWR and Moot Court at Hastings since 2005, and worked as a bar tutor for Hastings this past summer. She was a career law clerk for a judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California for nearly twelve years. Prior to her district court clerkship, Wendy worked at Cooper, White & Cooper LLP in San Francisco and clerked for a United States Bankruptcy Judge and for a state appellate court. In addition to teaching, Wendy likes to hike, read, and practice yoga.
Bob Kane graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1973 with a BA in Conservation of Natural Resources and a BA in History, Phi Beta Kappa. He received his JD from University of California, Davis in 1976, was elected to the Order of the Coif, and was an editor of the Law Review. Mr. Kane served as an intern at the San Mateo District Attorney’s Office and for U.S. District Court Judge Thomas MacBride in Sacramento. Since graduating from law school, he has been in private practice in San Francisco and Tahoe City. He is currently a sole practitioner in San Francisco engaged in civil and criminal litigation and the general practice of law involving trial, appellate and transactional work. Mr. Kane has numerous publications to his credit. He is a member of the California and Hawaii Bars. He also serves as a superior court judge pro tem, arbitrator and mediator, and is active in local nonprofits. He is the former President of the Board of Housing Rights and a former member of the Board of Legal Services of Northern California.
Stephanie Kang is a Deputy District Attorney in the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office. She received her B.S. and B.A. from the University of Southern California and received her J.D. from UC Hastings. At Hastings, she served as Internal Political Chair for APALSA, Secretary for the Hastings Public Interest Law Foundation, a published member of the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal, and a Student Coordinator/Competitor for the Hastings Moot Court Board. Since she graduated Hastings, Stephanie has had a great time being an alumni coach for UC Hastings Moot Court teams. She is also currently the Vice-President of the Asian American Prosecutors Association.
Melissa Kendra received her JD from UC Hastings in 2013 and her BA in English Literature from the University of Texas in 2010. At Hastings, she competed on the Moot Court Team for two years, competing in three competitions, and served on the Executive Board for Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly. Since she passed the bar in 2013, she has been working as an Assistant District Attorney in San Francisco, currently in the Domestic Violence Unit. Melissa also serves as an alumni coach for the Moot Court team.
Diana Kruze is a patent litigation partner at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco. Diana graduated magna cum laude from Hastings in 2006 and received her B.A. from New York University in 2001. While at Hastings, Diana was on Hastings Law Journal, the Cardozo Entertainment Law Moot Court Competition team (where her team won first place, best brief, and the top three oral advocate awards), and the Nationals Moot Court Competition team. Diana clerked for Judge James Ware and externed for Judge Saundra Armstrong, both of the Northern District of California. Diana currently serves as a pro tem judge in San Francisco Superior Court, sits on the appellate panel of the California Judicial Nominees Evaluation Committee, and is a board member of the Barristers Club of the San Francisco Bar Association. She is a San Francisco native, and lives in the Outer Sunset with her husband, two (soon to be three) children, two dogs (Demolition and Bulldozer), and three chickens (Peep, Pepper and Pumpkin). In her spare time, Diana makes mid-century modern dollhouse furniture, is an avid boxing fan, loves exploring Golden Gate Park, plays the violin, and is an awful poker player.
Amit Kurlekar graduated with a BA in Philosophy & Religious Studies from Stanford University in 1998, and received his JD magna cum laude and as a member of the Order of the Coif from the University of Michigan Law School in 2001. While at Michigan, he served as an associate editor on both the Law Review and the Journal of Gender and the Law, and was a semifinalist in the University’s Campbell Moot Court Competition. After law school, Amit clerked for two years for the Hon. Judge Marianne O. Battani of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and then the Hon. Julio M. Fuentes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Newark, New Jersey. After his clerkships, Amit was an attorney in the New York and San Francisco offices of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP for over 9 years, where he worked as part of the firm’s appellate practice group and served on the firm-wide Pro Bono Committee. Amit is now a Deputy Attorney General in the Appeals Writs and Trials section of the California Attorney General's Office, which handles criminal appeals. Amit lives in Oakland with his wife, their 4-year-old and 18-month-old daughters, and their two cats.
Brian graduated from Hastings College of the Law in 2004. At Hastings, he was a founding Editor-in-Chief of the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal. After law school, Brian was a Racial Justice Project Fellow with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, where he worked primarily on voting rights and education, including the successful League of Women Voters v. McPherson petition for writ of mandate that restored the voting rights of over 145,000 Californians. He is now a Staff Attorney with the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights where he enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in education on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, and disability. Brian enjoys playing soccer and traveling with his wife, Stephanie.
Kimon Manolius graduated from Brown University in 1983 with a BA in Development Studies with a focus on East Africa. He thereafter worked on state and federal election campaigns and in state government in Massachusetts. He received his JD from Boston University in 1991.
After law school, he joined the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office and worked in complex employment litigation for the Police and Fire Departments. He then joined the City Attorney’s Trial Team and became a Team Leader. His litigation practice included civil rights defense cases, personal injury, employment, and state and federal appellate work. He served as the City’s Chief of Civil Litigation and also managed the City’s Code Enforcement Team. He also served as Managing Attorney for the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office from 2000-2002.
In August of 2002, Kim left the City Attorney’s Office for private practice at Hanson Bridgett in San Francisco. He is a partner in the firm and leads the Public Agency Litigation section. His practice includes all aspects of public sector litigation including dangerous conditions of public property and design immunity, writs and validation actions, transportation and transportation funding law, civil rights including First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment, Title II, IV, and VII, as well as enforcement litigation in the housing, environmental, and consumer protection realms. He also does air quality work. He has extensive trial experience in the state and federal courts, and appellate experience in the Courts of Appeal for the First and Third Districts, as well as in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In 2006, he was appointed to the SF Ethics Commission and elected to the position of Vice Chair. He has taught LW&R and Moot Court at Hastings for many years. He also teaches Intensive Advocacy at USF and Stanford Law Schools.
Steven Miller graduated magna cum laude (Order of the Coif) from Hastings in 2004. He is a partner in the San Francisco law firm of Hanson Bridgett, where he works in the Public Agency Section with a particular specialty in the representation of transit districts. He is the General Counsel for the San Mateo County Harbor District. His areas of expertise include government, political, and constitutional issues, as well as construction law, public contracts, and procurements. Prior to law school, Steven had an active career as a concert violinist, including winning a Grammy award in 2002 and making frequent appearances on NPR and PBS. He still gets residuals for his seminal performances on the soundtracks for Spy Kids and Elmo in Grouchland.
David Pai is a Deputy Attorney General at the California Department of Justice. He represents state agencies and officials in trial and appellate matters, primarily in employment disputes and public safety concerns. His practice mirrors the breadth of the State’s interest—from defending state prisons for having pre-hiring physical testing requirements, to protecting race horses from sadistic trainers, to ensuring the CHP’s right to recover hefty emergency response costs from you if you caused an incident while driving under the influence.
David graduated from Hastings in 2002. He came to law school quoting Saul Alinsky and naturally ended up working at the AG’s office. Some call him a sell-out. Others call him Dad. When not in the office or courtroom, he can be found enjoying life with his wife and daughter in the Mission District. He is unapologetically part of a small but growing army of parents supplanting Dolores Park hipsters with strollers and tricycles.
Emily Polcari received her J.D. from U.C. Hastings and her B.A. from Cornell University. She has worked as a legal research attorney for the San Francisco Superior Court and as an associate for the San Francisco firm of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger where she represented plaintiffs in catastrophic injury and death cases. She has coached mock trial students at Berkeley Law and taught LW&R and Moot Court at U.C. Hastings. Emily lives in San Francisco with her husband and children and enjoys swimming and bicycling in her free time.
Michael Quinn is a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California. He is assigned to the Correctional Law Section, which defends the Governor's Office and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Prior to joining the Attorney General's Office, he worked as an associate at Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro, where he was part of the real estate and land use practice group, and as a litigation associate at Ropers, Majeski, Kohn and Bentley. He received his JD from Hastings in 2000 and his BA from the University of San Francisco in 1997.
Kai is an associate at the Law Offices of Aaronson, Dickerson, Cohn & Lanzone where he works as the Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Carlos, City of Foster City, and Town of Woodside. He graduated from UC Davis with Honors in 2007 and from Hastings in 2011. While at Hastings, Kai was a competitor and coach for multiple Moot Court teams and served as the Production Editor of the Hastings Science and Technology Law Journal. He and his wife live in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood and spend most of the summer at AT&T Park rooting for the Giants.
Nathan Scheg is a co-founding shareholder of Ironhorse Law Group, P.C., a real estate and construction law firm located in Walnut Creek, California. He graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton (Binghamton University) in 1995, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. In 1998, he received his Juris Doctor at Hastings College of the Law. Mr. Scheg has been a member of the State Bar of California since 1998, and is admitted to practice before all Ninth Circuit federal courts. In addition, he has been a member of the State Bar of Florida since 2005. Mr. Scheg’s support to the legal profession and the community includes his service with Trial Lawyers Care, the National Law Advisory Council, the Board of Directors of Rudgear Meadows Homeowner’s Association, Teen Challenge USA and various local community athletic organizations.
Harold ‘Chip’ Selan
Harold (Chip) Selan graduated from Hastings in 1982 and from the University of California, Berkeley, Phi Beta Kappa in history in 1978. He is a solo practitioner in Orinda and focuses on personal injury and business litigation. He has served on both the California State Bar Committee on the Administration of Justice and the Committee on Appellate Courts. He also worked with the USAID Rule of Law Program in Albania in 2008, and was a visiting professor at the School of Magistrates in Tirana, Albania in 2010. He has been teaching at Hastings since 1989.
Kate is an associate attorney at Seyfarth Shaw's San Francisco office in the Labor and Employment Department. She graduated from Hastings in 2012, and after participating in Moot Court as a competitor and student coach, has been alumni coach to six Hastings Moot Court teams. Kate grew up in Denver and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder. She lives in the amazing town of Oakland with her partner and elderly but surprisingly rugged toy poodle, Sampson.
Kate is excited to be teaching LW&R for the first time this year.
Stephen Tollafield is a full-time Professor and Associate Director in the Legal Writing & Research and Moot Court Department. Professor Tollafield graduated magna cum laude from Hastings in 2002. As a student, he was a Moot Court team competitor and coach, a member of the Hastings Public Interest Law Foundation, and a founding member of the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal. In his legal practice, Professor Tollafield was an Equal Justice Works fellow and a staff attorney at Disability Rights Advocates, a non-profit law firm. Subsequently, he served for nearly three years as a Staff Attorney at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
At UC Hastings, Professor Tollafield has taught LW&R, Appellate Advocacy, Moot Court, a seminar on disability law, and has coached intercollegiate Moot Court competition teams. As a full-time Professor and Associate Director, he continues to teach first year lawyering skills, oversees the LW&R Department’s staffing and programming, and is a frequent presenter on legal skills education at regional and national professional conferences. He also teaches an analysis and writing class for international attorneys who attend the UC Hastings LL.M. program. Finally, Professor Tollafield is a Supervising Attorney for the Hastings Appellate Project, an advanced advocacy clinic for law student representation at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Denise Yates has been a Deputy Attorney General for over fifteen years, defending state agencies, prison staff, and the Governor from lawsuits filed by prisoners. Before that, she worked as a Deputy District Attorney, she was a fellow with the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, and she clerked for a federal judge in Las Vegas. She loves teaching LW&R and Moot Court at Hastings. She is a Northern California native, a UC Irvine alum (go Anteaters!), and an avid athlete and traveler. She can be found on most weekends playing golf with her husband, competing in some event with her workout partner, or enjoying a dog park with her Lhasa Apso, Auggie.
Zachary Young is a Hastings graduate. While at Hastings, Zachary competed on multiple Moot Court teams and also served as a student coach. In addition to his involvement with Moot Court, Zachary was a member of the Hastings Business Law Journal and also represented clients, in both state court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, through the Individual Representation Clinic and the Hastings Appellate Project.
Since law school, Zachary has been working as a civil litigator, handling primarily commercial litigation matters. He is an attorney with the law firm Kerr & Wagstaffe, LLP in San Francisco. He remains involved in Moot Court and currently serves as an alumni coach.
In addition to teaching, Zachary enjoys all things fitness and, of course, the San Francisco Giants.
The UC Hastings Legal Writing & Moot Court Department mission requires that our instructors, students, and staff have an understanding and interact with broad array of ideas, insights, and perspectives. One important factor in accomplishing this mission involves attracting qualified instructors from diverse backgrounds, traditions and practices who are unique by a combination of their race and ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, culture, and religion. The UC Hastings Legal Writing & Moot Court Department welcomes new ideas and encourages an effective and active exchange of views in an environment of mutual respect.
We work to recruit and maintain a diverse group of adjunct instructors and staff. We are committed to increasing the numbers of underrepresented minorities. We work to ensure that our hiring procedures evaluate candidates holistically and from underrepresented groups. We will also strive to remove sources of unconscious bias and will seek to correct situations where full and open exchange of ideas has been limited.
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