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NOVEMBER 2013 - Meet the Board
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Meet the Board

Hon. Nicole C. Bershon
Power Lunch Program Liaison







Tell us about your background. I was appointed by Governor Brown as a Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court in July of 2013. Prior to that, I served as a Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner, and before that, I served as the Inspector General for the Los Angeles Police Department. I have spent the majority of my career in public service, save for three years in private practice (first at Stutman, Treister & Glatt and, later, at Irell & Manella). I am a graduate of Princeton University, and the UCLA School of Law, where I co-founded the UCLA Women’s Law Journal. I am a WLALA Past President, and have served on the board consecutively since 2000.

What is your role for WLALA and how would you like to see members get more involved? I am a liaison to the Power Lunch Program, which is run by the L.A. Superior Court in partnership with WLALA. The program brings local high school students to courthouses throughout the county to meet lawyers, judges, and courtroom staff and learn about the justice system. Our most recent Power Lunch occurred at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse Downtown with students from Dorsey High School. District Attorney Jackie Lacey, a Dorsey alumna, and State Senator Holly Mitchell addressed the students.

I would hope to see members get more involved in one-on-one mentoring of law students and new lawyers.

What are your passions and interests? Outside of my family and my work, I enjoy my service on the WLALA Board, as well as on the Court’s Diversity and Community Outreach Committees. I greatly enjoy mentoring new and future lawyers, as well as the high school students I meet during Power Lunches and in connection with the Teen Court Program, also run by the Los Angeles Superior Court. I have been practicing yoga for over 16 years, and also try to stay fit by walking our dogs and playing on the Benchwarmers, the Court’s softball team. I enjoy all sorts of music, from 70s rock to folk, pop, country, disco, and classical music.


Patricia Daza-Luu
Public Interest Grant
Tell us about your background. I handle a wide array of general business litigation. I specialize in insurance coverage disputes arising out of first party claims, third party comprehensive general liability claims, claims made coverages, umbrella and excess claims, and construction defect litigation. I also handle trademark and copyright matters for my firm’s intellectual property/entertainment practice.
What is your role for WLALA and how would you like to see members get more involved? As co-chair of the Public Interest Grant, I publicize the Grant, review Grant applications, and ultimately work with my Co-Chair as well as the Grant Selection Committee (a group of wonderful volunteers) to choose each year's Grant recipient(s). When the Grant winner is selected, my co-chair and I work together to ensure that the Grant project is executed and publicized to target audiences. I hope members get involved by energizing their mentees or any law students they know to apply for the Grant!
What are your passions and interests? Apart from the law, I love to spend time with my husband, Billy, and our shih tzu, Buster Bluth. I also enjoy spinning, hiking, cooking, and especially eating!
Susan DeWitt
Awards and Recognition
Tell us about your background. I am currently the Acting Executive Assistant United States Attorney, for the U.S. Attorney Office in the Central District of California – the number three person in the office, and previously was a Deputy Chief in the National Security Section. I have been with the U.S. Attorney’s office for more than 16 years, during which time I have handled a variety of matters including: terrorism and national security matters; violent crimes such as murder, kidnapping, and assault; and financial crimes including international money laundering, bank fraud, wire fraud, and identity theft.
What is your role for WLALA and how would you like to see members get more involved? I am the Co-Chair of the Awards and Recognition Committee. I would like to encourage more prosecutors to get involved in WLALA. WLALA is a great organization and offers tremendous programs, promotes women and equality, and also provides opportunities for getting and providing support for women in the profession.
What are your passions and interests? Social passions are promoting justice, equality, and Anti-Bullying/safe school efforts. Non-work passions are baseball, theater, wine and the Great Outdoors – scuba diving, fishing, and rafting.

Lorna De Bono
Foundation Member at Large
Tell us about your background. I am a Southern California native and went to UCLA for both my undergraduate and law degrees. My entire career has been focused on business immigration law, first as a paralegal after college, then as a law clerk during law school and as an attorney since being admitted to the bar in 1999. I assist companies and individuals in varied industries, including information technology, advertising, marketing, video game, finance, engineering, sports, and entertainment, with administrative petitions and applications to the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Departments of Labor and State, and U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

What is your role for WLALA and how would you like to see members get more involved? I am currently a Member-at-Large on the Foundation Board, which means I don’t have a specific committee to head up but instead have the opportunity to support all of the Foundation’s wonderful pro bono activities. I’m currently spearheading the Made for MADE campaign, where WLALA is partnering with downtown yarn store Gather DTLA to make and donate hand-knit accessories to the Downtown Women’s Center’s MADE by DWC retail boutique ( As a former recipient of the Fran Kandel Public Interest Grant, I know what an amazing opportunity our scholarship and grant programs can be for law students, so I’d like to see as many WLALA members support our Annual Giving campaign so that we can continue to fund the Foundation’s numerous pro bono activities.
What are your passions and interests? When not busy being an immigration law geek, I am an avid knitter and practitioner of Iyengar yoga. I’m an adventurous eater and cook and enjoy learning about different food cultures around the world, especially if I get to travel somewhere new to try them. My husband and I are life-long UCLA fans – Go Bruins!


Kim Encinas
Tell us about your background. I'm an Appellate Court Attorney at the California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Eight. After law school, I clerked on the District Court and then spent approximately five years as a litigator at Munger, Tolles & Olson. I've been at the court for approximately 2.5 years now.
What is your role for WLALA and how would you like to see members get more involved? I've co-chaired the Membership Committee for the last few years. Among other things, my co-chair and I host bimonthly happy hours in the downtown area. I would love to see more new members come to these low-key gatherings, as I think they are a great way to meet other WLALA members and learn about the organization.
What are your passions and interests? I have a very large extended family who, for the most part, live nearby, and I spend much of my free time on the weekends with them. My husband and I adore our two giant but sweet St. Bernards, who keep life interesting. I also love reading fiction, going to concerts, and sampling the fruits of my husband's latest culinary experiments in the kitchen.