Ninth Circuit Appellate Lawyer Representatives
JESSIE ALLOWAY is the Solicitor General, Civil Appeals in the Alaska Department of Law. She oversees the Department’s civil appellate practice and regularly appears before the Ninth Circuit and the Alaska Supreme Court. Before joining the appellate section, Jessie represented state agencies in state and federal court on complex civil litigation primarily focusing on natural resource matters but also litigating federal and state constitutional questions. Immediately after law school, she clerked for Ninth Circuit Judge Richard C. Tallman for three years and then served as a trial attorney in the Environmental Crimes Section of the Department of Justice. Jessie graduated from the University of Montana law school with high honors.
JEAN-CLAUDE (“J.C.”) ANDRÉ is a partner in Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s Los Angeles office, where he co-chairs the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court Group and focuses on complex federal and state appeals. Before his return to private practice, he served for ten years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California, including two years as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Appeals Section and four years as Chief. Between private practice and government, J.C. has personally briefed and/or argued hundreds of distinct appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court, various U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, the California Supreme Court, and the California Court of Appeal, including dozens of briefs and 3 arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court and over 100 briefs and 40 arguments before the Ninth Circuit. He clerked for Ninth Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson and United States District Judge A. Andrew Hauk of the Central District of California. He received his B.A. and B.S. from the University of California, Davis, and his J.D. and M.A. from the University of Virginia.
LUKE APFELD is an associate at Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP in San Francisco, California. He represents clients in all facets of complex commercial litigation. Prior to joining Keker, Van Nest & Peters, Luke served as a law clerk to Judge John Owens of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to Judge Andrew Carter of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Luke earned his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law and a B.A. in English and Sociology from the University of Vermont.
BENJAMIN AU is a partner at Orrick in Santa Monica. His practice focuses on complex civil litigation at both the trial and appellate levels, primarily on behalf of technology-facing clients in matters ranging from trade secret misappropriation, founder / funder disputes, breach of contract, and business torts. Ben also maintains an active white collar criminal defense and government enforcements practice. The Daily Journal has recognized Ben as one of the “Top 20 under 40” lawyers in California, and Benchmark Litigation named him a “Future Star” and listed him on its “Hot List” of top attorneys in the nation aged 40 and under. He is also the recipient of the ACLU of Southern California’s “First Amendment Award.” Ben serves on the board of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is the vice-chair of its white collar committee. Ben began his legal career as law clerk to Judge M. Margaret McKeown of the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit. He received his B.A. from Duke University and his law degree from Yale Law School.
PEDER BATALDEN is a partner at Horvitz & Levy LLP, a civil appellate boutique with offices in Southern and Northern California. He has handled dozens of appeals in the Ninth Circuit, including appeals arising from 10 of the 15 judicial districts within the circuit. Peder co-authors a leading treatise, the Rutter Group’s Ninth Circuit Civil Appellate Practice, which is available on Westlaw. Before joining Horvitz & Levy, Peder worked in the Los Angeles office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. He was also a law clerk to Judges Kermit E. Bye (8th Cir.) and Robert J. Kelleher (C.D. Cal.). He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the UCLA School of Law.
NADIA DAHAB is an attorney and partner at the Portland-based law firm of Sugerman Dahab. Her work focuses on complex and class action litigation relating to civil rights, consumer rights, and appeals. Nadia has an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nebraska and a J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law. She served as a judicial law clerk to Justice Rives Kistler of the Oregon Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit Judges Susan P. Graber and Mary H. Murguia.
LISA ELLS is a partner at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP in San Francisco. She maintains a diverse practice, successfully representing clients in complex impact and appellate litigation in a variety of constitutional law, First Amendment, land use, employment discrimination, disability rights, attorneys’ fees, and civil rights disputes. Lisa is a graduate of Duke University and Columbia Law School, where she served as an editor of the Columbia Law Review. After law school, Lisa served as a law clerk to Ninth Circuit Judge James R. Browning and Judge David O. Carter of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
ERIC M. FRASER is a partner at Osborn Maledon PA in Phoenix, Arizona, where his primary focus is appeals and major issue litigation in which an appeal is likely. He coauthors a monthly column in Arizona Attorney magazine covering civil appeals, coedits the azapp.com blog, and contributes to SCOTUSblog. He received his J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and his B.A. in Physics from Pomona College. Before joining private practice, Eric clerked for D.C. Circuit Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg.
EILEEN B. GOLDSMITH is a partner at Altshuler Berzon LLP in San Francisco. She specializes in representing labor unions in trial and appellate litigation, administrative proceedings, and arbitration, and representing employees in class action and representative litigation at the trial and appellate level in the state and federal courts. She is a graduate of Brown University and Yale Law School. Following law school, she clerked for Ninth Circuit Judge Marsha S. Berzon.
CAESAR KALINOWSKI IV is a First Amendment and media attorney at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. He regularly litigates issues related to the freedoms of speech, press, and religion, as well as Section 230 and copyright protections for social media platforms, content creators, and technology providers. Caesar earned his bachelor’s degree from American Military University following a decade of service and overseas deployments with the Marine Corps and intelligence services. Since his graduation from the University of Washington School of Law as the Dean’s Medalist, Caesar has served as a law clerk to Judge Richard Tallman on the Ninth Circuit and FISA Court of Review, President of the Washington State Veterans Bar Association, and Committee Chair of a Washington State Supreme Court Task Force.
AARIN E. KEVORKIAN is an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Las Vegas, Nevada, focusing on direct criminal appeals and post-conviction litigation in the appellate unit. Prior to joining the Federal Public Defender’s Office, she clerked for Ninth Circuit Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson. She received her B.A. in French and political science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and received her J.D. cum laude from UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law.
JUDAH LAKIN is a partner at Lakin & Wille LLP, where he focuses on removal defense, appeals, federal court litigation, detention issues, family-based immigration, and the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Judah is also a lecturer at U.C. Berkeley School of Law, where he supervises law students representing noncitizens before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals through Berkeley Law’s Ninth Circuit Practicum. Prior to starting Lakin & Wille LLP, Judah was an associate at Van Der Hout LLP. Prior to private practice, Judah clerked for the Honorable Richard A. Paez on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and before that, worked at Dolores Street Community Services’ Deportation Defense and Legal Advocacy Program. In addition to his work as an immigration attorney, in 2018, Judah co-founded and now co-directs the Bay Area Immigration Bond Fund—a non-profit project that raises funds for incarcerated individuals who cannot afford their immigration bonds. Judah received his B.A. from Brown University, his M.Ed. from Rhode Island College, and his J.D. from Berkeley Law.
KRISSA M. LANHAM is the Appellate Chief in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona, supervising all appellate litigation for the office and regularly appearing before the Ninth Circuit. When Krissa first joined that office, she prosecuted cases in the Organized Crime/Drug Enforcement and Southwest Border groups, and she also served as the Human Trafficking Coordinator. Earlier, she clerked for Ninth Circuit Judge Barry Silverman and then-Chief Judge Robert Chatigny of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. Krissa received her B.A. summa cum laude from Yale College and her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was the recipient of the Khosla Memorial Fund for Human Dignity Prize and the Ambrose Gherini Prize for the best paper on a subject of international law.
GONZALO C. MARTINEZ is Deputy Secretary for Judicial Appointments / Legal Affairs in the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom, where he has been involved in high-level public policy matters and appeals, in addition to advising on all state judicial appointments. Previously, he was a Deputy Solicitor General in California’s Department of Justice, representing California in significant litigation in state and federal court, including the California Courts of Appeal, the Ninth Circuit, and the California and US Supreme Courts. Before joining public service, Gonzalo was a Partner in the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice group at Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP in San Francisco practicing before appellate and trial courts nationwide. His clients have included government, large companies, unions, and individuals. He is certified as a specialist in Appellate Law by the State Bar of California. The Daily Journal recently recognized him as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California. He clerked for the Hon. Maxine M. Chesney of ND Cal., and the Hon. Anthony W. Ishii of ED Cal., both after several years of practice. Gonzalo graduated from Harvard Law School (JD), Harvard University (AB), and Stanford University (AM).
TEAL LUTHY MILLER is the Appellate Chief in the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington. Before she joined the U.S. Attorney’s office, she worked in the Appellate Section of the Civil Division of the Department of Justice for ten years. Between law school and Civil Appellate, she clerked for Third Circuit Judge Edward R. Becker, served as a Bristow Fellow in the Office of the Solicitor General, and worked as an associate at a firm in Washington, DC. She graduated from the University of Chicago law school with high honors.
BRIANNA MIRCHEFF is the Chief of Writs and Appeals for the Federal Public Defender's Office for the Central District of California. Ms. Mircheff attended Loyola Law School as a Public Interest Scholar. After graduation, she clerked for Ninth Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson. Ms. Mircheff has been with the Federal Public Defender's office since 2006, and specializes in federal post-conviction litigation and criminal immigration and detention work.
COLIN PRINCE is the Chief Appellate Attorney for the Federal Public Defenders Office of the Eastern District of Washington, where he directs appellate litigation and habeas work and, in the trial courts, defends primarily drug, gun, and white-collar cases. He graduated from Seattle University School of Law, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the law review. After law school, Mr. Prince clerked for the federal district court in the Western District of Washington and practiced civil law in Seattle, mainly in class-action defense and financial litigation. Mr. Prince also teaches legal writing at Gonzaga School of Law and nationally within the Federal Public Defender system.
KATIE RICHARDSON is appellate counsel with the San Diego Office of County Counsel. Her work focuses on complex federal and state appeals, and major issue litigation in which an appeal is likely. She has served on the Executive Board of the ABA’s Counsel of Appellate Lawyers and as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Southern California. Before joining the County Counsel’s Office, Katie was in private practice specializing chiefly in appellate litigation. She obtained her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law and her B.A. from Duke University. She also has completed two federal judicial clerkships with the Hon. Valerie Baker Fairbank of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and the Hon. Ferdinand F. Fernandez of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
ALEX ROBBINS is the Deputy Chief of the Appeals Section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California. He has practiced criminal appellate law at the Department of Justice since 2009, starting in the Tax Division in Washington, D.C., with details to the Criminal Division’s Appellate Section and to the Office of Legal Policy. Before that he was an associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and a law clerk to Judge Sandra Ikuta on the Ninth Circuit. He is a native of Los Angeles. He received his J.D. degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where he graduated with honors and was an editor of the Chicago Law Review, and his undergraduate degree from Stanford University, with distinction, majoring in history and economics.
JOHANNA SCHIAVONI, CHAIR, is a San Diego appellate litigator who handles civil appeals and writs in state and federal courts, in addition to criminal appeals for indigent defendants by court appointment. With nearly two decades of experience, she is a certified specialist in appellate law by the California Board of Legal Specialization and Counsel with California Appellate Law Group LLP, heading up the firm’s San Diego office. Johanna completed two judicial clerkships with Hon. Christina A. Snyder of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and Hon. M. Margaret McKeown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She also worked as a trial and appellate litigator at Latham & Watkins LLP in New York and San Diego, was an appellate litigation partner with boutique firm Jacobs & Schlesinger LLP, and ran her own solo appellate practice for more than seven years. Johanna, who grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and the UCLA School of Law. She is deeply involved in the legal and broader community. She served as the 2020 President of the San Diego County Bar Association, stewarding the organization through the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts on the justice system, attorneys, and the legal community. She also currently serves by appointment as an Appellate Lawyer Representative to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, as a member of the Committee for Appellate Courts of the California Lawyers Association, as a member of the Executive Council of the National Conference of Bar Presidents. She is a past president of Lawyers Club of San Diego from 2013-14 and from 2013-21 as a member of the City of San Diego’s Balboa Park Committee. Since 2018, Johanna has served as a Mayoral appointee to the Board of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, which oversees San Diego International Airport, and served as Board Chair in 2021. In October 2021, the San Diego Law Library Foundation honored Johanna with its Bernard E. Witkin Award for Excellence in the Practice of Law and as a Community Changemaker.
JAMES SIGEL is a partner in Morrison Foerster’s San Francisco office. James briefs and argues complex appeals for clients nationwide, with a particular focus on the Ninth Circuit and the California state appellate courts. Before joining Morrison Foerster, James clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Sonia Sotomayor, on the D.C. Circuit for Judge David Tatel, on the California Supreme Court for Justice Goodwin Liu, and on the Ninth Circuit for Judge Stephen Reinhardt. James is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
LEAH SPERO has a solo practice in San Francisco focused on court-appointed appeals for indigent criminal defendants. She also supervises law students in the UC Hastings Appellate Project, teaching them how to brief and argue cases before the Ninth Circuit, and she directs the UC Hastings California Appellate Advocacy Program, which offers moot courts to lawyers appearing before the California Supreme Court. Prior to starting her own practice, Leah worked at the Ninth Circuit for five years as a law clerk to Judge Consuelo M. Callahan and as a staff attorney. Leah started her career at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, where she litigated both trial and appellate cases. She is a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers; an advisory member and past Chair of the California Lawyers Association’s Committee on Appellate Courts; and a member of the Association’s Amicus Committee. Leah received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her J.D. from UC Hastings, where she served as the Executive Editor of Hastings Law Journal.
DANIEL WINIK is a member of the Appellate Staff of the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He briefs and argues appeals on behalf of the United States, federal agencies, and their officers and employees in appellate courts nationwide. Before his government service, Daniel practiced in the Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation group of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP and served as a law clerk to Justice Sonia Sotomayor and to Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt. He is a member of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court in Washington, D.C., and a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School.
MATTHEW YELOVICH is the Appellate Chief in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. In that role, Matt oversees all government briefing and argument at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in federal criminal cases arising out of the Northern District of California, and he directly supervises a section of dedicated appellate AUSAs and paralegals. Before joining the San Francisco office, Matt was an Assistant United States Attorney in the White Collar Crime group of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, where he regularly investigated and tried complex frauds and served as Public Corruption Coordinator. Matt previously worked as an associate at a law firm in New York, and clerked for the Hon. Reena Raggi of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where he was a James Kent and Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and Duke University, from which he graduated with honors.
(last revised 12/27/2022)