LUTHER W. HORTON was born in Natchitoches, Louisiana, on August 30, 1947, and admitted to the California Bar in 1973. He graduated cum laude from Louisiana Tech in 1969 where he was student body president and a varsity tennis player. He attended law school at Tulane University, graduating in 1973 with honors including the Order of the Coif and was managing editor of the law review.
He clerked for Judge Wallace of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals before associating with the San Diego law firm of Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps. His work at Luce, Forward, et al. focused primarily on the field of personal injury, products liability, insurance bad faith, construction defect, and insurance defense. He was a partner from 1979 until January, 1992 when he left to form his own firm. A past chairman of the Tort and Insurance Section of the San Diego County Bar Association, he is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and has also been a Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) lecturer on the fundamentals of personal injury litigation. Luther has tried over 150 jury trials in San Diego County, Orange County, Imperial County, and Los Angeles County. He specializes in catastrophic injuries and brain damage cases.
Luther resides in the heart of Downtown San Diego. In his younger days, he was an avid tennis player. Now, he exercises on the golf course. He also enjoys scuba diving, underwater photography, and bicycling.
KIMBERLY S. OBERRECHT was born in 1972 and grew up in Tacoma, Washington. She graduated from the University of Washington in 1994 with a B.A. in Business Administration. She received her law degree in 1997 from California Western School of Law and was admitted to the California Bar in 1997. Kim is an Associate in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), listed as a Super Lawyer in 2013, and a member of DRI, the National Restaurant and Retail Defense Association (NRRDA), the San Diego Defense Lawyers, and the San Diego County Bar Association. Kim's practice is focused on auto liability, trucking, commercial premises liability, construction site accidents, and personal injury defense. She has completed over 35 jury trials, successfully defending auto, trucking, products liability, and premises liability cases with catastrophic injuries.
CHERYL A. KIRKPATRICK was born in Trenton, New Jersey, but has lived most of her life in California. She was admitted to the California Bar in 1990 and has been practicing as a defense attorney for over twenty years. She obtained her law degree from Southwestern University School of Law in 1990, where she was Note & Comment Editor for the Southwestern University Law Review, received an American Jurisprudence Book Award for Torts, and served as an Extern for the Honorable Arthur Alarcon, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Cheryl focuses on bodily injury litigation, as well as general liability and construction defect matters. She has tried cases in Orange, Los Angeles and Riverside Counties. She has obtained multiple defense verdicts in assault and battery, discrimination, motorcycle accident, and slip and fall cases. She has also tried construction defect cases.
Cheryl works in the firmís Orange County office in Irvine, California and resides in Aliso Viejo, California. Cheryl enjoys walking her boxer Zorro and reading historical fiction.
RICHARD H. MARTHA was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 7, 1973. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Environmental Resource Management with a Technical Minor in Wildlife & Fishery Science. Rich was a member and captain of the Penn State Men’s Ice Hockey Team and was elected to the American Collegiate Hockey Association All-American Team. He received his law degree from the Duquesne University School of Law, where he was a member of the Duquesne Law Review. Rich was admitted to the California State Bar in 2001.
Rich resides with his wife, Sandie, and two young children, Kegan and Kaili, in the Rancho Peñasquitos area of San Diego. He pursues a vast variety of activities ranging from being an avid triathlete to an experienced fly-fisherman. He dedicates most of his free time to the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training Triathlon Program.
ERIN E. SCHROEDER was born at the Subic Naval Base, Republic of the Philippines. She received her Bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of California at Santa Barbara in Political Science with a minor in History. In 2006, Erin graduated from California Western School of Law, where she was a member of the Pro Bono Honors Society and Dean’s Honor List. She was admitted to the California State Bar in 2006.
Erin enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband Danny, her family, and her friends.
MICHAEL D. MARCHESINI was born in 1972 in Camden, New Jersey. He attended San Diego State University, earning an undergraduate degree with honors in Business Administration - Management in 1994. During his college years, Mike was a member of the Mortar Board National Honor Society, Golden Key National Honor Society, Sigma Chi Fraternity, Rotaract, and received the SDSU Quest for the Best Vice Presidential Student Service Award. Mike then attended the University of San Diego School of Law, earning his law degree in 1997. During law school, Mike was a member of the Appellate Moot Court Board and Moot Court National Team, and was selected to The Order of Barristers. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 1997, and he is also admitted to the United States District Court, Central and Southern Districts of California. Mike has successfully tried cases by jury in the areas of personal injury (auto and premises liability), defamation, and insurance bad faith.
Mike enjoys traveling and spending time with his family and friends and is an avid Chargers, Padres and SDSU Aztecs fan.
ERIC M. LEENERTS was born in Austin, Texas, but grew up primarily in San Diego. He received his B.A. in History (magna cum laude) in 1985 from San Diego State University. Between college and law school, Eric continued working full time in the job that put him through school and additionally volunteered with the San Diego Historical Society. In 1989, Eric received his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. During law school, Eric volunteered for the General Advocacy Assistance Project helping low-income residents of San Francisco navigate the public aid system, and interned with the Juvenile Division of the San Francisco District Attorney's Office handling criminal prosecutions of juvenile offenders. Eric was admitted to the California State Bar in 1989 and is admitted to practice before all courts of the State of California, in addition to the United States Court for the Southern District of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. He has significant litigation experience handling hundreds of binding and non-binding arbitrations and mediations, has tried several cases to verdict (bench and jury trials), and has argued one matter before the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District.
During his spare time, Eric enjoys mountain biking, swimming, snorkeling, watching youth sports (baseball, soccer, indoor soccer, and lacrosse) in which his youngest son participates, and amusing his family's Golden Retriever, Woody.
FANG LI was born in Taipei, Taiwan. He received undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Management Science from the University of California, San Diego in 2000. In 2005, Fang graduated from Temple University School of Law, where he was a member of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and was a Note/Comment Editor at the Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review. He was admitted to the State Bars of New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 2005, and the California State Bar in 2007.
During his spare time, Fang enjoys basketball, golf, snowboarding, comic books, and poker.
SHARLA N. HILBURN was born in Texas. She received her Bachelor of Arts in History in 1999 and her Master of Arts in History in 2001, both from San Diego State University. During her time at San Diego State, Sharla was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a national liberal arts honor society, and the President of Phi Alpha Theta, a national history honor society. In 2004, Sharla graduated from California Western School of Law where she was Secretary of the Business Law Society and a member of the Dean’s Honor List. She was admitted to the California State Bar in 2005.
During her spare time, Sharla enjoys cooking, running, traveling, reading and the occasional karaoke performance.
COURTNEY S. BECKER was born in Nashville, TN and grew up in San Jose, California. She graduated from San Diego State University in 2005 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in History. While at San Diego State, Courtney was an active member of the national political science honor society, Pi Sigma Alpha. Courtney graduated from Santa Clara University School of Law in 2008, where she was a member of the 2007 Honors Moot Court competition. Courtney also received the award for “Best Brief” in Appellate Advocacy. Courtney was admitted to the California State Bar in 2008.
Courtney is an animal lover and avid Chargers fan. She enjoys outdoor activities, including snowboarding, swimming and hiking. Courtney also enjoys traveling and spending time with family, friends, and her husband, Todd.
PETER C.L. CHEN was born in Taiwan. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics from U.C.L.A. in 1998. While attending the University of San Diego School of Law (J.D., 2006), Peter was a member of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 2006.
Peter enjoys playing basketball, tennis, going to the gym, and the latest techno-gadgets.
NATHANIEL J. MICHELS attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington (1997), where he played varsity soccer and majored in biology and philosophy. Nate graduated cum laude from California Western School of Law (2005) where he attended on an academic scholarship.
Nate is an avid freestyle snowboarder and used to compete professionally. Nate loves to surf the breaks of the Sunset Cliffs in San Diego.
DANIELLE C. LOSS was born and raised in the San Francisco East Bay Area. In 2005, she received her B.A. in Sociology and a Minor in Law and Society from the University of California, San Diego where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and worked as a nanny. Danielle received her J.D. from Notre Dame Law School in 2009 and received her LL.M. from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2010. During law school, Danielle participated in the London Law Programme and GALILEE. Danielle was admitted to the California State Bar in 2009.
During her spare time, Danielle enjoys playing on various soccer teams, snowboarding, going to concerts and shows, and spending time with her friends and family.
Jose Masso, IV
JOSE C. MASSO, IV was born in Seattle and came to Southern California as a young adult. In 2004, he received B.A. degrees in both Government and Economics from the University of Redlands, where he also played in a band. In 2007, Jose received his J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School. During law school, he participated in moot court/mock trial and was a mentor for at-risk youth. Jose was admitted to the California State Bar in 2008 and the Washington State Bar in 2010.
During his spare time, Jose enjoys his talent as a musician, playing six instruments.
WHITNEY J. BETTS was born and raised in Ventura, California. In 2007, she graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Communication Studies, where she was a varsity member and national competitor of the Policy Debate Team and a Week of Welcome Orientation leader and team leader trainer. Whitney thereafter attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law where she obtained her Juris Doctorate in 2010. While in law school, she was the Primary and Secondary Notes Editor of the TJSL Law Review, a Judicial Extern for the Honorable Luis R. Vargas of the San Diego Superior Court, and participated in study abroad at Faculte de Droit de L’Universite de Nice in Nice, France. Whitney is also the recipient of the Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for Pro Bono Legal Services from the State Bar of California and the Distinguished Service Award 2010 from the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program. She was admitted to the California State Bar in December 2010.
Whitney resides in North Pacific Beach with her husband, Tom, her English Bulldog, and two cats. During her spare time, Whitney enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time outside, be it bike riding or spending time at the beaches and bay.
MICHELLE TRUONG was born and raised in San Jose, California. In 2011, she graduated from U.C. Irvine with a major in International Studies and a minor in Political Science. While at UCI, she was the Asian Greek Counsel Chair of Phi Zeta Tau Sorority and a member of the Alpha Phi Omega Community Service Fraternity. In 2014, Michelle graduated from Southwestern Law School, where she was President of the Asian Law Student Association, an advocate at the Children’s Rights Clinic, and a member of Southwestern Teen Court. Michelle was admitted to the California State Bar in December 2014.
During her spare time, Michelle enjoys hiking, baking, scuba diving, ice skating, art and photography, snowboarding/skiing, and traveling.
ELYSA HOUZE-BENSON was born and raised in the San Diego East County. She graduated from Northern Arizona University (summa cum laude) with a B.S. in American Political Studies, with an emphasis on the American Legal System and Liberal Studies Honors. In 2013, Elysa graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law, obtaining her law degree. During her time in college and law school, she was active in Circle K (Kiwanis collegiate organization), San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program’s Domestic Violence Clinic, and was a senior associate on the San Diego Journal of Climate and Energy Law. Elysa was admitted to the California State Bar in July 2014.
During her spare time, Elysa plays adult coed softball, coaches youth softball and gives private softball lessons. She also enjoys spending time with her family and relaxing with her cats and a good novel.
CAREY J. ESHELMAN was born and raised in San Diego, California. In 2011, she graduated from the University of San Diego, obtaining her B.A. in Communication Studies and Philosophy. In 2014, Carey graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law, where she was involved with the International Law Journal, USD Appellate Moot Court, was the Vice Chair of Tournaments in 2013-2014, and competed in moot court competitions in Los Angeles, California and Columbus, Ohio. Carey was admitted to the California State Bar in December 2014.
During her spare time, Carey enjoys watching the San Diego Padres, reading, and spending time with her friends, family and her cat, Shimmy.
DANIELLE E. VALLONE was born and raised in San Diego County. In 2011, she graduated from U.C. Santa Barbara, obtaining her B.A. in Environmental Studies with a minor in English. In 2014, Danielle graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law where she participated in the USD D.C. program, and was a member of the Pro Bono Legal Advocates, Advocates for Children and Education, and participated in USD Legal Clinics. Danielle was admitted to the California State Bar in February 2015.
During her spare time, Danielle enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, reading, and going to the beach with her Labrador retriever, Riley.
R. Todd Montakab
R. TODD MONTAKAB was born in Orange County, California and was raised in both Tehran, Iran and Orange County. He attended the University of California, Berkeley where he obtained his B.A. in Political Economy in 2007. During his time at Berkeley, Todd lectured for a student run (DeCal) course named “Conflicts and Terrorism in the Middle East”. Todd then obtained his law degree in 2013 from the University of San Diego School of Law, where he served as the Vice President of the Middle Eastern Law Students Associates (MELSA), received the highest jury award in mock trial for the Civil Practicum, and gave pro-bono legal advice to low income entrepreneurs at the University of San Diego Entrepreneurship Clinic.
In his spare time, Todd enjoys playing soccer, tennis, cycling and listening to TED talks.
DOMINIQUE M.W. TOMAINO was born and raised in beautiful Orange County, California. Dominique graduated from Ave Maria University in 2009, receiving her B.A. in Economics. She thereafter graduated magna cum laude from Ave Maria School of Law, receiving her law degree in December 2011. During law school, Dominique was an associate editor of Law Review, externed for Federal Magistrate Judge Douglas Frazier, and volunteered for mediation clinic. She was admitted to the California State Bar in 2014.
During her spare time, Dominique enjoys reading, gardening, playing with her two dogs, and spending time with her husband, family and friends.