LAIPLA Officers & Board of Directors 2023-2024
Our Board of Directors manages the affairs and directs the conduct of the business of the Association, subject to the By-Laws and the Articles of incorporation. Meet our team!
Erica J. Van Loon is a Partner at Nixon Peabody in Los Angeles, California. She is an experienced IP trial lawyer and has a winning track record litigating copyright, trademark, patent, rights of publicity, trade secrets, invasion of privacy, defamation, business interference, and other media and entertainment claims. Erica was named the 2019 Intellectual Property Attorney of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal. She has successfully represented a wide range of clients in IP litigation matters including Bally Gaming, VIZIO, British Broadcasting Corporation, Target Corporation, Walmart, Conan O’Brien, Morgan Creek Productions, Lionsgate Films, Topson Downs of California, Red Bull, ASCAP, Abbott.
Xinlin Morrow is the principal at the Morrow Firm in Century City. Xinlin is a strategic business and IP lawyer with a decade of experience litigating and advising clients on complex business disputes involving patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and contracts. Before founding the Morrow Firm, Xinlin practiced law at national litigation powerhouses Irell & Manella and Hueston Hennigan with a focus on business and IP litigation.
Xinlin received her B.A. in Economics from Middlebury College in 2007, and her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2010.
Xinlin has chaired LAIPLA’s Judges’ Night and Law School Roadshow committees.
Favorite LAIPLA event: Spring seminar 2018 at the beautiful Ojai Valley Inn.
Favorite LAIPLA memory: Judges’ Night 2020, where a wonderful panel of federal judges discussed wide-ranging topics including artificial intelligence and diversity in IP law.
Dr. Sarah M. Cork is an associate in Quinn Emanuel’s Los Angeles office. Her practice focuses on patent litigation in the life sciences sector, with an emphasis on pharmaceutical, medical device, Hatch-Waxman, and BPCIA matters, and she has represented both patentees and patent challengers in district courts and at the Federal Circuit. Leveraging her extensive scientific training, Sarah understands her clients’ technology at a deep level, and she is skilled at translating complex technical concepts for a lay audience.
Sarah earned her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review. Before law school, she received a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University, where her dissertation research focused on characterizing novel therapeutics for brain tumors. She earned B.S. degrees in Biological Anthropology/Anatomy and Biology from Duke University.
Favorite LAIPLA Event: The 2020 Fall Patent Program (co-chair).
Favorite LAIPLA Memory: Being called up on stage to participate in a magic trick during the 2019 holiday party at the Magic Castle.
Jordan Nafekh is an attorney at Irell & Manella in Los Angeles. Jordan’s practice includes a broad range of intellectual property disputes with a focus on high-stakes patent infringement litigation. Jordan has comprehensive experience through all stages of litigation, from pre-filing investigation to trials and appeals. He has experience drafting and arguing both discovery and dispositive motions, including claim construction motions, working with fact and expert witnesses, taking and defending depositions, and examining witnesses at trial.
Jordan earned his J.D. at UCLA School of Law where he was elected to Order of the Coif. Among other honors, he earned Masin Family Academic Excellence Awards for top grades in multiple classes, including Evidence and Copyright Law. Jordan also held leadership positions on the board of the Journal of Law and Technology and the Intellectual Property Law Association. Prior to law school, Jordan earned a B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Jordan previously chaired the LAIPLA Young Laywers Committee, and has served on the Patents and Trade Secrets Committee
David A. Randall is the managing partner of Orbit IP. He routinely represents clients in complex IP litigation matters, including patent, trademark and trade secret litigation, throughout the United States, as well as in multijurisdictional matters. David’s practice also includes post-grant proceedings with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. He has advised clients on over twenty inter partes review and ten patent interference proceedings. As a registered patent attorney, David is authorized to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and routinely counsels clients in the development and management of worldwide intellectual property portfolios. He has prosecuted hundreds of patents not only in the United States, but throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Patents he has prosecuted have been successfully licensed or asserted multiple times. David’s experience covers a broad range of technologies, including technologies in the 3D printing, aerospace, automotive, biofuels, chemical, communications, consumer products, electronics, fashion, Internet, laser, medical device, material science, optics, and software and data storage industries.
Elizabeth Brannen is the Managing Partner of Stris & Maher, a trial and appellate litigation boutique based in Los Angeles that represents clients in complex, high-stakes, and high-profile business disputes throughout the country. The firm is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise. Liz leads the firm’s intellectual property litigation practice and handles a wide range of matters in patent and other technology-related litigation. She has tried high-stakes business cases to judgment and obtained countless successes for clients at the trial and appellate levels. She served as the firm’s lead substantive expert in two copyright cases before the U.S. Supreme Court: Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, 139 S. Ct. 881 (2019) and Unicolors, Inc. v. H&M Hennes & Mauritz, No. 20-915 (U.S. Feb. 24, 2022) and has achieved and defended trial court victories in the Second, Sixth, and Federal Circuits on behalf of clients including Barnes & Noble and Cisco. Liz is also a member and Leader at the Front of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, an organization of approximately 400 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners committed to creating a truly diverse U.S. legal profession. Benchmark Litigation recognizes her as a national litigation star.
Nick Fung is a partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP. Nick advises clients on a broad range of intellectual property issues, with a focus on high-stakes patent litigation and trade secrets disputes. With a degree in electrical engineering and computer science, Nick has litigated matters spanning a broad range of technology, including semiconductors, medical devices, and computer hardware and software. Nick has counseled companies at all stages of their life cycles/growth, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, and has represented clients in federal and state courts, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).
Nick received his J.D., cum laude, from New York University School of Law, where he was a semi-finalist in the Marden Moot Court Competition, a Robert McKay Scholar, and an Articles Editor for the Annual Survey of American Law. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Nick is the Co-Chair of the Diversity Outreach Committee and is also a member of the Spring Seminar Committee.
Ever since his older brother took credit for naming their first Dalmatian, Spot, Stephen has understood the value of protecting and defending a good idea. He has done some impressive things like defend the design of Volkswagen cars and seen the joy of nine different juries judge his capabilities in a courtroom. Clients enjoy Stephen for being authentic, confident, and able to engage in profoundly entertaining discussions on how a tall man lives in a world not designed for him.
Stephen focuses his practice on counseling web3 developers and IP creators of all kinds. He gives the added benefit of being able to respond and enforce those protections through litigation and trial, if necessary.
Steven W. Smyrski is president and CEO of Smyrski Law Group, A P.C., of counsel to Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth’s Intellectual Property Counseling and Patent practice group, and Managing Director of Aqua Licensing, LLC, a patent placement/brokerage firm. Steve has acted as an expert witness on patent matters and has personally drafted and secured hundreds of patents in diverse areas including telecommunications hardware and software, semiconductor design, fabrication, and inspection, medical devices, signal processing components, stereoscopic filming and projection, and computer hardware and software. Steve has also litigated a number of patent matters, successfully advocated for certiorari before the United States Supreme Court, and has lectured on software patentability as well as patents and intellectual property generally. Steve was recently the chairman of the LAIPLA Mentorship Committee and is a frequent Moderator for the LAIPLA Roadshow, introducing law students to panels of IP practitioners who discuss their experiences in the profession.
Jennifer So is Senior Counsel in the Intellectual Property and Law Business Unit at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. She handles trademark, copyright, merchandise licensing and brand issues for the Honda North American entities. Prior to Honda, Jennifer was an associate in the IP group at Pillsbury’s Los Angeles office handling patent, trademark, and copyright transactional and litigation matters.
Jennifer earned her B.S. in Biochemistry from UCLA. After working briefly as a wastewater research chemist, Jennifer earned her J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.
Jennifer is the Co-Chair of the Diversity Fellowship and member of the In-house Outreach Committees.
Favorite LAIPLA Event: Magic Castle Holiday Party
Favorite LAIPLA Memory: Diversity Fellowship Award
Judge Shashi H. Kewalramani was appointed as a United States Magistrate Judge in 2017. Prior to his appointment, Judge Kewalramani maintained a private practice handling intellectual property and commercial litigation on the defense and plaintiff side for his clients, federal criminal defense, and state and federal investigation matters. He is a registered patent attorney, previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Central and Northern Districts of California, and was a law clerk to the Honorable Richard A. Schell, the then-Chief Judge in the Eastern District of Texas.
Judge Kewalramani received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a member of several engineering honor societies, and his J.D. from Baylor Law School, graduating cum laude, where he was also an editor of the Law Review.
Adam Kwon is an attorney at Munger, Tolles & Olson. Adam’s practice involves handling complex IP and commercial litigation matters at any stage of a case, including prelitigation strategy, discovery, motions practice, oral advocacy, trial, and appellate work. Adam also maintains an active pro bono practice assisting with appeals before the Federal Circuit. Prior to joining MTO, Adam clerked for Judge Otis D. Wright II in the Central District of California, and for Judge Jimmie V. Reyna at the Federal Circuit.
Adam received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, with an emphasis in signal processing and wireless communications. Adam received his J.D. from Notre Dame Law School, magna cum laude, where he obtained the highest grade in Trademark Law and served as the IP team captain and brief writer for the Notre Dame Moot Court Board, and as an Articles Editor for the Notre Dame Journal of International and Comparative Law.
Before joining the Board, Adam served as chair of the Judges’ Night Committee and co-chair of the Tech Transactions Committee.
Sarah Rahimi is an attorney at Stris & Maher. Her practices focuses on intellectual property litigation, with an emphasis on patent litigation. Prior to joining Stris & Maher, Sarah received her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law, where she served as the Chief Comments Editor of the UCLA Law Review and earned a variety of awards, including the Masin Family Academic Excellence Gold Award for the highest grade in Constitutional Law. During law school, she also was a member of the UCLA Supreme Court Clinic and the UCLA International Human Rights Clinic, worked as a research assistant to two professors, and earned specializations in Critical Race Studies, Public Interest Law and Policy, and International and Comparative Law. Sarah holds an undergraduate degree from UCLA in International Development Studies, where she graduated with Departmental Honors, College Honors, and Phi Beta Kappa. As a Departmental Scholar, she also earned an M.A. in Islamic Studies from UCLA.
Sarah previously chaired the LAIPLA Women in IP committee.
Robert Taylor is Deputy General Counsel at Ziff Davis (Nasdaq: ZD), a mid-cap digital media and cloud services company. Robert leads domestic and international teams responsible for commercial transactions, financing, intellectual property, litigation, privacy, securities and regulatory matters. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Robert was an intellectual property litigation associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and represented clients in complex patent cases pertaining to processor architecture, memory buses and networking standards. He also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Josephine Staton in the Central District of California.
Robert earned his J.D., cum laude, from New York University School of Law, where he received the Daniel G. Collins prize and was a Robert McKay Scholar and Lederman-Milbank fellow. He holds a B.A. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Robert has co-chaired the Ambassador/In-House Outreach Committee and serves on the Diversity and TechTainment Committees.
Alexander Zeng is an associate in the Los Angeles office of Knobbe Martens and has experience litigating and counseling clients on a wide array of intellectual property matters. Mr. Zeng has represented clients in numerous forums, prosecuted numerous patents and trademarks, and directs global brand protection and enforcement. His clients and cases cover a broad range of industries such as medical devices, health insurance, palliative care, food and beverage, consumer goods, fitness, fashion, entertainment, consumer electronics, and mobile device applications.
Mr. Zeng received his J.D. from the University of California, Irvine and served as an editor with the Law Review. Mr. Zeng also holds B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of California, Los Angeles and a M.S. in Medical Device and Diagnostic Engineering from the University of Southern California.
Before joining the Board, Alex served as a co-chair for the 2023 Spring Seminar.