Meet the Professors

Meet the Professors

Law School

Your success is important to us at Empire College. Read more about the professors in the Law School that are here to help you succeed.

Shelly Averill Law Professor In California

Hon. Shelly Averill
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Averill

Education: Juris Doctor (magna cum laude) from Empire College School of Law, Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Sonoma State University

Professional Experience: Professor Averill became a Judge for the Superior Court of California, County of Sonoma in 2010. Prior to that she was a private practitioner in the area of family law. She is a faculty member of the Judicial Council of California, Pretrial Release Program at Cow Counties.

Memberships: California Judges Association, Sonoma County Women in Law

History at Empire College: Professor Averill taught Self-Help Access Center Clinic from 2006-2010. She currently teaches Community Property.

Jeffrey L. Berk Law Professor In California

Jeffrey L. Berk
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Berk

Education: Juris Doctor from University of San Francisco School of Law (cum laude), Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Michigan State University

Professional Experience: Professor Berk has been working as a Deputy County Counsel for Sonoma County since 1992, where he provides advice for various county departments, the Sonoma and Mendocino County Employees' Retirement Associations, Health Services, and the Grand Jury. Professor Berk previously worked at the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in San Francisco.

Memberships: California State Bar, Sonoma County Bar Association

History at Empire College: Professor Berk has taught Legal Skills at Empire Law School since 1999. He also teaches California Government & Administrative Law

Law Professor Kadin Blonski In California

Kadin Blonski
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Blonski

Education: Juris Doctor from the Empire School of Law (magna cum laude), Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Irvine

Professional Experience: Professor Blonski's practice focuses on real estate, landlord/tenant, and business law. He does both litigation and transactional work. Professor Blonski believes in his role as an advocate and partner for his clients. His driving focus whether litigating cases or working on a transaction is to achieve a positive outcome for his clients.

Memberships: California State Bar, Sonoma County Bar Association

History at Empire College: Professor Blonski has been involved with the Small Claims Advisory program at Empire School of Law since 2005. He is currently the supervising attorney/professor. In 2010 Professor Blonski was recognized for his exceptional teaching ability, receiving the Excellence in Education Award (four-year college category) sponsored by the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce Education and Business Partnership.

Law Professor Adam Brown In California

Adam Brown
J.D., B.A.
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Education: Juris Doctor from the Franklin Pierce - University of New Hampshire School of Law, Bachelor of Arts from Hartwick College

Professional Experience: Professor Brown is the Executive Director of Disability Services & Legal Center. Professor Brown, an attorney, has been employed by DSLC since 1997, serving as Legal Director for the agency, and additionally managing Empire Law School's Disability Law Clinic. Prior to joining DSLC, Professor Brown was employed by the Massachusetts Office on Disability in Boston, MA and the Disability Rights Center, Inc. in Concord, NH.

Memberships: California Bar Association

History at Empire College: Professor Brown has taught Administrative Law/Disability Practice since 2000.

Law Professor Heather Bussing In California

Heather Bussing
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Bussing

Education:Juris Doctor from University of Kansas School of Law, Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Kansas

Professional Experience: Professor Bussing practiced civil litigation and employment law for almost 30 years before joining Deloitte as an analyst and consultant.

Memberships: Sonoma County Bar Association

History at Empire College: Professor Bussing teaches Advanced Legal Writing and Social Media & Internet Law.

Law Professor David Carr In California

David Carr
J.D., B.A.
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Education: Juris Doctor from University of San Diego School of Law, Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Santa Cruz

Professional Experience: Professor Carr has been practicing law for more than 25 years: in private practice, as both a public defender and prosecutor, and presently as civil trial counsel in the Attorney General's Office.

Memberships: California Bar Association

History at Empire College: Professor Carr primarily teaches Torts and has also taught Criminal, Administrative, and Juvenile Law courses.

Law Professor Susan T. Daniel In California

Susan T. Daniel
J.D., M.A., B.A.
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Education: Juris Doctor (summa cum laude) from University of Santa Clara, School of Law; Master of Arts from Syracuse University; Bachelor of Arts from Queens College, New York

Professional Experience: Professor Daniel is founder and principal of Employee Relations Consultants, a firm committed to providing quality human resource consulting. Susan has over thirty years of combined experience as a Human Resource executive and employment attorney. Although she has expertise in all aspects of human resources, she has devoted much of her career to developing organizational cultures that support employee retention and enhance business goals within a sound legal framework. She has conducted and/or supervised hundreds of investigations as both an in-house investigator and an outside consultant, written numerous policies and practices manuals, mediated disputes and conducted a wide variety of seminars including sexual harassment training and managing within the law.

Memberships: Senior Fellow of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Leadership Forum and a graduate of Leadership Santa Rosa. A frequent lecturer on human resource and employment issues, Susan is the author of “Employee Relations Guide”, Unjust Dismissal, Matthew Bender (1993). She has served on numerous, non-profit boards of directors.

History at Empire College: Professor Daniel teaches Employment Law and Employment Discrimination Law.

Law Professor Bradford J. DeMeo In California

Hon. Bradford J. DeMeo
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor DeMeo

Education: Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University School of Law, Bachelor of Arts in English from Sonoma State University. Managing Editor, Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Journal, Santa Clara University School of Law

Professional Experience: Professor DeMeo has been a Superior Court Judge in Sonoma County since 2011. Prior to that he was a partner of DeMeo DeMeo & West. His areas of practice included business planning and administration, real estate, personal injury litigation, and estate planning and probate with an emphasis on planned giving and counseling public and private foundations.

Memberships: California Judges Association, Redwood Empire Estate Planning Council (president 1996-97), Sonoma County Bar Association (director 1993-98 and 2010-present), Sonoma County Juvenile Justice Commission (1993-1997; chairman 1995). Co-founder of Probate Section of Sonoma County Bar Association.

History at Empire College: Professor DeMeo has taught Torts, Law Practice Management, and Wills and Trusts at Empire Law School since 1995. He has served on the Faculty Hiring Committee and Academic Standards Committee and was the founder/faculty advisor for the Empire Law Review. He was also an assistant professor of political science for Sonoma State University.

Law Professor Patrick W. Emery In California

Patrick W. Emery
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Emery

Education: Juris Doctor from the University of California, Davis; Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University (cum laude)

Professional Experience: Professor Emery has been a trial lawyer in Sonoma County for over 35 years. His efforts have resulted in his recognition as a Super Lawyer of Northern California and his inclusion in Best Lawyers in America. In addition, he is one of only six practicing attorneys in Sonoma County elected to the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers. Professor Emery's trial experience extends to personal injury and wrongful death cases arising from many types of accidents, product failures and medical negligence events. He is also experienced in major consumer class actions.

Memberships: American College of Trial Lawyers, American Board of Trial Advocates, Sonoma County Bar Association (President, 1986), Sonoma County Fairs and Expositions (President, 1992-1993), Sonoma County Civil Service Commission (Chairman, 1999), Volunteer Center of Sonoma County (President, 2004-2006), The State Bar of California, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Consumer Attorneys of California

History at Empire College: Professor Emery has taught Trial Practice at Empire College since 1993.

Law Professor Rudolph Gerber In California

Hon. Rudolph (Rudy) J. Gerber
LL.M, J.D., Ph.D., M.A., B.A.
Read more about Professor Gerber

Education: LL.M. (graduate program for appellate judges) from University of Virginia Law School; Juris Doctor from University of Notre Dame Law School; Ph.D. (grande distinction) in Philosophy, Institut Superieur de Philosophie, Universite Catholique de Louvain (Leuven), Belgium; Master of Arts (honors) in Comparative Literature, Columbia University; Bachelor and Master of Arts in Philosophy from St. Louis University, Missouri

Professional Experience: A retired appellate judge, Professor Gerber currently serves as an arbitrator & Mediator, American Arbitration Association. He began his career as an attorney in Arizona and became a Superior Court Judge in Maricopa County. In 1988 he was appointed to the Court of Appeals of Arizona. In 2001 he returned to private practice with Shughart Thomson & Kilroy, PC (antitrust, appeals, special actions, medical malpractice, arbitrations) and Office of the Capital Post Conviction Defender (representing death row clients on appeal).

Memberships: Amnesty International, Board of Directors of the Arizona Justice Project (exonerations) and Death Penalty Focus (repeal of death penalty). Former member of the U.S. Civil Rights Advisory Commission and Board of Governors, State Bar of Arizona

History at Empire College: Professor Gerber teaches Criminal Law at Empire Law School. In addition, from 2010-2014 he was an adjunct professor of law and sociology at University of San Diego and Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego. Teaching topics: theories of rights, theories of justice, death penalty, jurisprudence, professional responsibility, law and justice, human rights. In Spring of 2014 he was a visiting professor of law (human rights, criminal law) for the LL.M. program of the American University of Armenia, Yerevan.

Law Professor Rex Grady In California

Rex Grady
J.D., M.A., B.A.
Read more about Professor Grady

Education: Juris Doctor from Empire College School of Law, Master of Arts degrees from University of California and University of New Brunswick; Bachelor of Arts from University of California, San Diego

Professional Experience: Professor Grady’s primary focus has been civil litigation on the plaintiff's side throughout California and the United States. From time-to-time he has also represented clients in criminal, family and administrative law matters. He is currently employed at Smith Dollar in Santa Rosa.

Memberships: Sonoma County Bar Association

History at Empire College: Professor Grady is an Empire alumnus who began teaching at Empire in 2006. He is currently professor of Constitutional Law and American Legal History. Over the years he has also taught Introduction to Law and Jurisprudence.

Law Professor Marianna Green In California

Marianna Green
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Green

Education: Juris Doctor from Willamette University College of Law, Chinese Law Program in Shanghai, China, and Bachelor of Arts in English from University of California, Los Angeles

Professional Experience: Professor Green has been a Deputy District Attorney with the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office since 2005. She is currently assigned to prosecute juvenile offenders and oversee interviews of child victims of sexual and physical assault. Previous assignments include: Environmental and Consumer Law division, Early Case Resolution Court, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault unit and general felony cases. Professor Green was a Deputy District Attorney in Mendocino and Calaveras Counties from 2001-2005 and a criminal research attorney for the California Superior Court, Alameda County, from 1998-2001.

Memberships: Sonoma County Bar Association

History at Empire College: Professor Green has taught Remedies since 2013.

Law Professor Michael D. Green In California

Michael D. Green
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Green

Education: Juris Doctor from University of Denver College of Law; Bachelor of Arts from University of Arizona, Tucson

Professional Experience: Professor Green attended law school on a merit based scholarship and graduated with honors. He is a shareholder at Abbey Weitzenberg Warren & Emery. Before joining the firm he clerked for the Colorado Court of Appeals. Professor Green’s law practice is dedicated to representing plaintiffs in civil cases. He specializes in litigating cases involving personal injury, wrongful death, products liability, medical malpractice, elder abuse as well as government entity liability. His practice also focuses on representing property owners, both residential and commercial, in construction defect matters.

Memberships: Superlawyers Rising Stars 2011-1013; Superlawyers 2015, AVVO Excellent Attorney, Consumer Attorneys of Sonoma County (President 2009, 2010); American Inns of Court (Richard M. Sangster Chapter), Consumer Attorneys of California, American Association of Justice, Sonoma County Bar Association.

History at Empire College: Professor Green teaches Trial Practice.

Law Professor Allan Hardcastle In California

Hon. Allan Hardcastle
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Hardcastle

Education: Juris Doctor from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, Sacramento; Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from University of the Pacific, Stockton

Professional Experience: Professor Hardcastle has been a Judge of the Sonoma County Courts since 1997. He was Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Division from 2010-2011, Presiding Judge in 2003-2004, and Supervising Judge of the Criminal Division in 2001-2002. Prior to that, Professor Hardcastle was a Military Judge for the U.S. Army Reserves, presiding over Army court martials, and a civil trial practice attorney.

Memberships: California Judges Association (Past President); Board of Directors, University of the Pacific Alumni Association; Member, United States Army Reserve, Rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Professor Hardcastle is a graduate of the B.E. Witkin Judicial College of California and Military Judges Course, Charlottesville, Virginia. In 1989 he was named "Boss of the Year" by the Sonoma County Legal Secretaries Association.

History at Empire College: Professor Hardcastle has taught Evidence and Remedies at Empire College since 2005.

Law Professor Jennifer Hendrickson In California

Jennifer Hendrickson
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Hendrickson

Education: Juris Doctor from the Empire School of Law, Bachelor of Arts, Arizona State University

Professional Experience: Professor Hendrickson started her legal career as a law clerk for Abbey, Weitzenberg, Warren & Emery in Santa Rosa in 2006. After law school, she worked for the insurance defense firm Law Offices of Gerald Desmond, and then Hendrickson Legal Services. She has worked as a solo practitioner since January 2010. Currently, Professor Hendrickson practices in the areas of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Defense Civil Litigation.

Memberships: National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys

History at Empire College: Professor Hendrickson has taught Moot Court at Empire College since 2011.

Law Professor Roger Illsley In California

Roger Illsley
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Illsley

Education: Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California, Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of California, Davis

Professional Experience: Professor Illsley practices in the areas of real estate, business transactions and estate planning with the law firm of Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller & Moskowitz, LLP. He handles wills and trusts, probate, small business formation (corporations and limited liability companies), and a broad range of business and real estate transactions. He has practiced law in Sonoma County since 1980.

Memberships: California State Bar, Sonoma County Bar Association

History at Empire College: Professor Illsley has been on the faculty at Empire College since 1985, teaching classes in Commercial Law and Contracts.

Law Professor Rob Jackson In California

Rob Jackson
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Jackson

Education: Juris Doctor from the University of California, Davis; Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Davis (magna cum laude)

Professional Experience: Following admission to the California State Bar, Professor Jackson was a research attorney for the Sonoma County Superior Courts and worked as an associate in a number of firms, becoming a partner of O'Brien, Watters, Malisch & Piasta. He later worked as a senior trial attorney in the San Francisco office of corporate counsel for State Farm Insurance Companies. He is now a partner with Kelly, Jackson & Christianson, LLP handling primarily civil litigation in personal injury, construction, employment, professional negligence, general commercial environmental, and governmental entity liability cases.

Memberships: The State Bar of California, Sonoma County Bar Association, Judge Pro Tem for the Superior Court in Sonoma County, City of Santa Rosa Board of Community Services

History at Empire College: Professor Jackson has taught Professional Responsibility at Empire College since 1990.

Law Professor H. Bruce Kinnison In California

H. Bruce Kinnison
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Kinnison

Education: Juris Doctor from Hastings College of Law, Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University

Professional Experience: Professor Kinnison was Deputy Public Defender in Ventura County for 10 years before becoming Chief Deputy Public Defender in Sonoma County for 25 years. He has supervised Sonoma County Public Defender law clerks, mostly Empire College students, for 25 years, all of whom passed the California Bar Exam on their first attempts during his tenure. Professor Kinnison served on CA Public Defender Association Board of Directors, taught in CAPD trial skills, lectured in MCLE programs. Taught at Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law.

Memberships: California State Bar, past member of California Public Defender Association and Sonoma County Bar Association, present board of directors president at LandPaths, a nonprofit dedicated to getting people (including Empire law students, staff and faculty) into Sonoma County's beautiful outdoors.

History at Empire College: Professor Kinnison has taught Criminal Law and Evidence since 1988.

Law Professor Brendan M. Kunkle In California

Brendan M. Kunkle
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Kunkle

Education: Juris Doctor from Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco; Bachelor of Arts from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo

Professional Experience: Professor Kunkle is an attorney who has practiced civil litigation at Abbey, Weitzenberg, Warren & Emery since 2000. He previously practiced criminal defense in San Francisco after having been admitted to the bar in 1994. Professor Kunkle is currently the managing partner at Abbey Weitzenberg. He has been named a SuperLawyer by that publication for the year 2015, and was recently awarded as a Top Attorney in Northern California as published in San Francisco Magazine. He has successfully tried and resolved cases involving personal injury resulting from general negligence, automobile accidents, defective products, and premises liability, as well as employment disputes, bad faith insurance disputes, construction defect disputes, business tort litigation and public entity liability litigation. He has previously been a speaker to the Sonoma County Bar Association on the topic of mediation, as well as utilizing technology in litigation and at trial. He has served as a Settlement Conference panelist for the past 10 years for the Sonoma County Superior Court. He is active in the community at large, serving in the past as president of the Consumer Attorneys of Sonoma County, the chair of the board of the United Way of the Wine Country, Board President of Schools Plus, as a member of the Press Democrat Leadership Forum, and as an executive partner for Celebrate Community, and is currently a member of the board of the Redwood Empire Food Bank, a member of the board of Schools Plus, a member of the Richard M. Sangster American Inns of Court, a member of the Sonoma County Bar Association and the American Trial Lawyers Association.

Memberships: Super Lawyers 2015, 2015 Avvo Excellent Attorney, San Francisco Magazine’s Top Attorneys in Northern California (2015), Schools Plus, Board President (2014), Redwood Empire Food Bank, Current Board Member, United Way of the Wine Country Board of Directors, 2004-2011 (Board Chair 2010), Celebrate Community, Executive Partner, The Press Democrat Leadership Forum, Consumer Attorneys of Sonoma County, Past President, Consumer Attorneys of California, American Inns of Court (Richard M. Sangster Chapter) Past Executive Committee Member, Sonoma County Bar Association, Association of Trial Lawyers of America

History at Empire College: Professor Kunkle teaches Trial Practice.

Law Professor Daniel Lanahan In California

Daniel Lanahan
J.D.
Read more about Professor Lanahan

Education: Juris Doctor from San Francisco Law School

Professional Experience: Professor Lanahan's entire legal career encompasses two law firms, one for 26 years and the firm he founded, Lanahan & Reilley. Professor Lanahan has represented hundreds of corporations including start-ups in various business transactions and litigations. The great majority of his work over the past 40 years has involved the trial of civil cases representing both plaintiffs and defendants, most often in complex litigations, class actions and what is known as "mass tort" litigation. During his past 40 years in the practice of law, he has often pursued other interests, including working as a police officer.

Memberships: International Association of Defense Counsel; North Bay Leadership Council; board member, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital Foundation, Sonoma State University Academic Foundation and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

History at Empire College: Professor Lanahan instructs the class, Notable Cases of the 20th Century and is the author of Justice for All: Legendary Trials of the 20th Century .

Law Professor Keith Langan In California

Keith Langan
J.D., B.S.
Read more about Professor Langan

Education: Juris Doctor from Golden Gate University School of Law, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from University of San Francisco

Professional Experience: Professor Langan has practiced law for more than 30 years, primarily as Senior Counsel in the General Counsel's Office of Fireman's Fund Insurance Company where he provided legal counsel on insurance underwriting and regulatory matters and was the Designated Counsel for Commercial Products and Market Conduct matters. In June 2015 he joined Entertainment Division of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, North America, where he leverages legal and insurance expertise to support global entertainment expansion, including motion picture and television products, live events, and special events. He is Senior Counsel .

Memberships: California State Bar. He is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter and a member of the CPCU Society. He is currently co-Vice Chair of the CPCU Society's Regulatory and Legislative Interest Group. Professor Langan has taught numerous insurance educational courses for the Insurance Education Association. He was named Insurance Professional of the Year by the Golden Gate Chapter of CPCU in 1998. In 1999 he was recognized for Outstanding Achievement by the American Council of Education.

History at Empire College: Professor Langan has taught Insurance Law and Introduction to Law since 2000.

Law Professor Kathleen Pozzi In California

Kathleen Pozzi
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Pozzi

Education: Juris Doctor from Empire College School of Law, Bachelor of Arts in Government from University of San Francisco, A.S. in Criminal Justice from Santa Rosa Junior College

Professional Experience: Professor Pozzi began her career as a law clerk in 1986. She quickly accelerated from a Public Defender Level One to Level Four. After that she was made Chief Deputy to the Assistant Public Defender until her appointment in 2012 as Sonoma County Public Defender.

Memberships: Sonoma County Women in Law, Marco Polo Society of Legal Practitioners, Sonoma County Bar Association, California Public Defenders Association, California Trial Lawyers Association, and California Attorneys for Criminal Justice

History at Empire College: Professor Pozzi has taught Criminal Law since 1990. She has also served as a member of the Academic Standards Committee, Faculty Hiring Committee, Scholarship Committee, and the Dean Selection Committee. Professor Pozzi helped implement and participates in the oversight of a clinical program for Empire law students at the Sonoma County Public Defender's Office.

Law Professor Becky Rasmason In California

Becky Rasmason
J.D., B.S.
Read more about Professor Rasmason

Education: Juris Doctor from Empire Law School, Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University

Professional Experience: Professor Rasmason has been in private practice since July 1997. She is a certified as a family law specialist by the Board of Legal Specialization of the California Bar Association. Professor Rasmason is a Partner with the law firm of Rasmason-Zunino, Family Law Attorneys. She is the current chair (2015) of the Family Law Advisory Commission of the California Bar Association and served as a past Chair of the Sonoma County Bar Association Family Law Steering Committee. In addition to serving on these and other boards and committees, Professor Rasmason also serves as a Fee Arbitrator for the Sonoma County Bar Association and volunteers as a Settlement Conference Officer.

Memberships: Sonoma County Bar Association; California Bar Association; American Bar Association; Sonoma County Women in Law (President, 1999); Sonoma County Bar, Family Law Section (Chair, 2002); Family Law Local Rules Committee (Chair 2007-2009); Family Law Advisory Commission, State Bar of California, Chair 2015; Chair-elect (2016) for the Sonoma County Bar Association Family Law Steering Committee

History at Empire College: Professor Rasmason has taught at the Self Help Access Center (SHAC) at Empire College since 2005. Currently she is a professor of Community Property. In 2009 Professor Rasmason was recognized for her exceptional teaching ability, receiving the Excellence in Education Award (four-year college category) sponsored by the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce Education and Business Partnership.

Law Professor Holly Rickett In California

Holly Rickett
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Rickett

Education: Juris Doctor from University of California, Hastings; Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) from the University of Idaho

Professional Experience: Professor Rickett has practiced in all areas of civil litigation, representing both plaintiffs and defendants, for over 24 years. Since 2010, as a Deputy County Counsel she has represented the County of Sonoma with a focus on land use and CEQA.

Memberships: Board Member of Sonoma County Bar Association; Member of SCBA Public Law Section; California Bar Association; American Bar Association; Board member and past President Sonoma County Women in Law; Instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College; Member of Academic Standards Committee at Empire College

History at Empire College: Professor Rickett began teaching at Empire College in 1996 as a professor of Property. Since that time she has taught Torts, Introduction to American Jurisprudence, and overseen the Clinical Education program.

Law Professor Laura C. Rosenthal In California

Laura C. Rosenthal
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Rosenthal

Education: Juris Doctor from the University of Denver College of Law, Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Denver

Professional Experience: Professor Rosenthal is currently an associate attorney at the Law Office of Richard J. Meechan, specializing in workers’ compensation and employment discrimination matters, where she works with three of her former Empire College paralegal students.

Memberships: Professor Rosenthal is a member of the California Bar Association, Sonoma County Bar Association, and Sonoma County Women in Law, and California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (CAAA). Professor Rosenthal is a committee member of the Women’s Caucus of CAAA, is a member of the Sonoma County Bar Association’s Archives Committee, and is on the Advisory Board of the Women’s Global Leadership Initiative. She is a member of the Education Committee of the North Bar Workers’ Compensation Association. She is a frequent speaker and presenter, and has done presentations and lead workshops for REAP/CAPA, SCBA, NBWCA, WGLI.

History at Empire College: Professor Rosenthal began working at Empire College as an adjunct instructor, teaching in the paralegal program, in November 2008. She was the Assistant Legal Department Head of Empire’s paralegal program until she passed the California Bar in 2013. She continues to teach as an adjunct instructor in Empire’s paralegal program and a Computer Bridge Research Seminar for Empire Law School, as well as at San Francisco Law.

Law Professor Ronit Rubinoff In California

Ronit Rubinoff
J.D.
Read more about Professor Rubinoff

Education: Juris Doctor from Pacific McGeorge School of Law; Middlebury College, Vermont

Professional Experience: Professor Rubinoff is the director of Legal Aid of Sonoma County. Legal Aid assists low income individuals with housing crisis, guardianships and family violence issues. Ms. Rubinoff has been a poverty law attorney for over 20 years and has worked in local, regional and state-wide legal services programs. She has done domestic violence, child abuse, housing, and elder law cases during her career and currently focuses on program administration and fund development work.

Memberships: Sonoma County Bar Association

History at Empire College: Professor Rubinoff is the supervising attorney/professor of the Legal Aid Clinic.

Law Professor Viveka Rydell In California

Viveka Rydell
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Rydell

Education: UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) 1997, Stanford University Graduate School of Business’ 2-week Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders 2008, B.A. English with Honors from UCLA 1993.

Professional Experience: Before joining PDI Surgery Center in 1996 to head up the start-up of this new organization that opened its doors in January 2008, Professor Rydell worked for eight years as a litigator, first with Bingham McCutchen, and subsequently with Coblentz Patch, Duffy & Bass in San Francisco. Throughout her legal career, Professor Rydell also provided pro-bono legal services and worked with many for-profit and non-profit organizations to increase the number of services available to underserved communities.

Memberships: Sonoma County Bar Association; Sonoma County Oral Health Task Force, the Santa Rosa Community Health Center’s Dental Advisory Board, and the Steering Committee of Sonoma’s Healthy Kids, Leadership Santa Rosa (LSR) Class of 26 (2010). Professor Rydell is the recipient of the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley/San Francisco Women’s Achievement Award 2013, the North Bay Business Journal’s Business Woman of the Year Award 2012, and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights (LCCR) Keta Taylor Colby Award 2001. Former board member of the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco and of Village HopeCore International, a Healdsburg-based non-profit providing micro-financing in Kenya, where she helped connect and support both new and mature business ventures.

History at Empire College: Professor Rydell has taught Business Organization since the Fall of 2013.

Law Professor Carmen D. Sinigiani In California

Carmen D. Sinigiani
J.D., B.S.
Read more about Professor Sinigiani

Education: Juris Doctor from Empire College School of Law, B.S. Animal Science and Management, University of California, Davis

Professional Experience: A native Sonoma County resident, Professor Sinigiani is a partner with DeMeo DeMeo & West. Her practice areas include: estate planning, probate, trust administration, will/trust contests and other estate litigation matters, trustee/beneficiary disputes, personal Injury/wrongful death, general civil litigation, medical malpractice, and private foundations/other charitable organizations.

Memberships: Professor Sinigiani serves on the Board and on the Education Committee of the Sonoma County Bar Association and is the Chair of the Trust & Estates Section of the Sonoma County Bar Association.

History at Empire College: Professor Sinigiani was a founding board member of the Empire Law Review and currently teaches Wills and Trusts with Hon. Bradford J. DeMeo.

Law Professor Tina Wallis In California

Tina Wallis
J.D., B.S.
Read more about Professor Wallis

Education: Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School, Bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis

Professional Experience: Professor Wallis is in the land use department of Clement, Fitzpatrick & Kenworthy. Prior to joining the firm, she advised counties, cities, and special districts on land use, public works, general government, airport, and landfill matters. She has advised clients on many aspects of land use law including general plan updates, zoning code updates, compliance with California's Environmental Quality Act, land use entitlements for residential and commercial projects, and conservation easements. Professor Wallis does both transactional work and litigation and has represented clients before regulatory agencies as well as advising regulatory agencies.

Memberships: Sonoma County Bar Association's Board of Directors, former small claims court judge for Sonoma County Superior Court

History at Empire College: Professor Wallis has taught Environmental Law and Legal Research and Writing at Empire College since 2008.

Law Professor W. Barton Weitzenberg In California

W. Barton Weitzenberg
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Weitzenberg

Education: Juris Doctor from the University of California, Los Angeles; Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara

Professional Experience: Professor Weitzenberg is a partner in the Santa Rosa law firm of Abbey, Weitzenberg, Warren & Emery. His practice emphasizes civil litigation with a specialty in personal injury and construction defect law. Professor Weitzenberg is active throughout the state with various consumer organizations that are dedicated to preserving a citizen's constitutional right to trial by jury.

Memberships: American Board of Trial Advocates, American Inns of Court (President of Richard Sangster Chapter, 2001), Redwood Empire Trial Lawyers Association (President, 1978-1979), Sonoma County Trial Lawyers Association (President, 1993), Consumer Attorneys of Sonoma County (President, 1997), Consumer Attorneys of California, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Executive Council of Homeowners (ECHO), California Association of Community Managers (CACM), The State Bar of California, The Sonoma County Bar Association

History at Empire College: Professor Weitzenberg has taught Trial Practice at Empire College since 1988. He has also served as professor of trial tactics at the Stanford University Law School and the University of San Francisco Trial Practice Programs.

Law Professor Judge Joseph Wiseman In California

Judge Joseph J. Wiseman
J.D., B.A.
Read more about Professor Wiseman

Education: Juris Doctor from University of Oregon School of Law, B.A. University of California, Los Angeles

Professional Experience: Professor Wiseman is the Chief Judge of the Northern California Intertribal Court System (Tribes: Hopland Tribe; Coyote Valley Tribe; Cahto Tribe); Chief Justice, Court of Appeals, for Round Valley Indian Tribes; Chief Tribal Court Judge for the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians; and Associate Justice, Court of Appeals, for the Hoh Tribe in Washington. As a private practitioner, Professor Wiseman practices in the areas of Native American law, federal criminal law, and appellate litigation, and water law.

Memberships: Professor Wiseman is a member of the National American Indian Court Judges Association and serves on the Board of Directors of the Steering Committee, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (White Collar Crime Committee), American Bar Association (Criminal and Environmental Law Sections), California State Bar, and the California Tribal State Court Forum, Administrative Office of the Courts, Judicial Council of California.

History at Empire College: Professor Wiseman has taught Federal Indian Law since 1996.

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