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Associates

Andrea Huston
Petra DeJesus
Ian Rivamonte
Matthew Thiel
Michael Stewart
William Ruiz
Mark Swanson
Autumn Mesa
Joseph Nicholson
Ryan Harris
Carole Bosch
Irena Kin
Dawn Withers
Stephanie Wargo-Wilson

Andrea Huston

Andrea Huston has worked in asbestos litigation since 1995, yet never ceases to be amazed at the terrible injustice visited upon asbestos victims and their families. She feels her purpose is to help these people in any way that she can. Ms. Huston was taught as a child that inequity was not only wrong, but that she should actively fight against it. Taking that lesson to heart, she worked as an extern for Judge John Munter of the San Francisco Superior Court while in law school, and saw first-hand how many people needed help dealing with their injuries.

Ms. Huston has prepared over 70 arbitrations against a class action asbestos defendant, and helped obtain over $4,000,000 in arbitration awards for her clients. She has researched, located and organized product identification against numerous defendants, making it possible to attain settlements from them. She also pursued clients’ personal-injury asbestos claims against bankrupt defendants. The more Ms. Huston learns about the asbestos industry, the more intent she becomes on securing justice for her clients.

Education

  • University of San Francisco School of Law (J.D., 1995)
  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (B.S., cum laude, 1988).

Bar Admissions

  • California (1999)

Organizations

    • American Trial Lawyers Association

Petra DeJesus

Petra DeJesusAfter graduating from law school, Petra DeJesus focused most of her legal career in public interest law. She represented low income individuals at California Rural Legal Assistance, Mission Community Legal Defense, and the San Francisco Public Defender’s office. As a senior Public Defender trial attorney, she has experience in all aspects of criminal litigation and has completed numerous jury trials including serious felonies and homicides.

In 1995, Ms. DeJesus accepted an opportunity to practice business law with a privately held company in Costa Mesa. As General Counsel for ETM Entertainment Network, she supervised all legal matters during its growth from a start-up company of 25 employees to a national live event and movie ticketing company with approximately 400 employees with offices located in the United States and internationally.

Ms. DeJesus joined Kazan Law in February 2000, excited to return to litigation. She represents workers, bystanders, and their families who are ill or have died from exposure to asbestos. Ms. DeJesus sees the firm’s clients as the backbone of our country, and without their contribution, the United States would not be the industrial giant it is today. She feels it is an honor to represent her clients against the industries that refuse to acknowledge their culpability or to compensate the workers for their workplace injuries. During her tenure, she has undergone extensive litigation and trial experience, including product identification research, and depositions of clients, co-workers, company representatives, experts and others.

As a Commissioner for the San Francisco Police Commission, Ms. DeJesus has worked on a variety of issues, the highlights of which include the election of the first transgender president of the Commission; review of the Police Department’s policy on use of Tasers; approval of Language Access Service for Limited English Proficient Persons, the most comprehensive General Order to guarantee access of police services for all community members; approval of strict Policies and Procedures for Juvenile Detention, Arrest and Custody to protect the rights of juveniles; modification of the Vehicle Towing Procedures for unlicensed drivers; and voted to develop and implement the first mental health crisis team in the Police Department.

Education

      • Hastings College of the Law, University of California (J.D., 1982) Public Interest Law Graduate, Third Year Class president, Commencement Speaker, Extern California Supreme Court, Central Staff
      • San Francisco State University (B.A., 1979) Deans List

Bar Admissions

      • California (1982)

Organizations

      • Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers (former Director)
      • San Francisco La Raza Bar Association (former President)
      • Consumer Attorneys of California
      • National Lawyers Guild
      • American Association for Justice
      • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
      • San Francisco Bar Association
      • American Bar Association
      • Public Justice Foundation
      • California State Bar Association (Ethnic Minority Relations Committee 1985-1988)

Ian Rivamonte

Ian Rivamonte AssociateEver since he was an undergraduate, Ian Rivamonte has devoted his legal volunteer, clerkship and externship work in public service. From non-profit organizations to local and federal government agencies, his experiences in each of these positions assured him that his calling in life is to help others in need. He views his work at Kazan Law as an achievement of that calling. His work every day focuses on helping clients receive the relief they deserve. In achieving this often difficult task, Mr. Rivamonte feels fortunate to work with and learn from some of the brightest and most experienced asbestos lawyers in the country.

Mr. Rivamonte started with Kazan Law as a law clerk in August 2004 and was hired as an associate in March 2005. He works in the Law and Motion Department.

Education

      • University of San Francisco School of Law (J.D., 2004)
      • UC, San Diego, (B.A., Political Science, 1999)

Bar Admissions

      • California (2004)

Matthew Thiel

Matthew ThielEducation

      • Golden Gate University School of Law (J.D., 2005)
      • UC, Berkeley, (B.A., History, 1990)

Bar Admissions

      • California (2005)

Michael Stewart

Michael T. StewartMichael joined the firm in 2006. He mainly works on large writing projects in the trial and appellate courts. In recognition of Michael’s skill and professionalism, he was selected to Super Lawyers – Rising Stars Edition in 2013 and 2014. A recent victory to which Michael contributed is Scott v. Ford Motor Company (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 1492. That appellate decision upheld the plaintiff’s right to seek punitive damages for his mesothelioma.

Michael always wanted to represent injured people. His favorite legal book is A Civil Action, about a lawyer who pursues the companies that polluted a town’s drinking water.

An avid runner, Michael is from Mammoth Lakes, California.

Education

      • University of California, Hastings College of the Law (J.D., 2007)
      • University of California, Berkeley (B.A., Rhetoric and Anthropology, 2004)

Bar Admissions

      • California (2007)

William Ruiz

Asbestos Attorney Will RuizEducation

        • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (J.D., 2005)
        • Claremont McKenna College (B.A., Economics and Government, 2002)

Bar Admissions

        • California (2006)

Mark Swanson

Mark Swanson Mark Swanson joined Kazan Law in 2012 and is grateful for the opportunity to continue to work on behalf of asbestos victims with a firm that has a long record of success. As an attorney, he has long represented people who suffer injustice or are otherwise disadvantaged. While attending law school he worked with organizations that provided legal assistance to impoverished and disabled individuals in San Francisco.

Upon being admitted to the California Bar in January 1995, Mr. Swanson got his first experience in asbestos litigation working for a Bay Area firm defending plaintiffs at deposition. From 1996 through 2003, he worked for a small San Francisco law firm representing persons with disabilities whose disability insurance and medical benefits had been denied or terminated. Since 2004, he has litigated cases on behalf of a numerous individuals who were unwittingly exposed to asbestos and whose resulting injuries could have been prevented had companies heeded widely available scientific literature about asbestos hazards and made safer products and work places. Mr. Swanson considers it an honor to help these individuals and their families find a measure of justice.

Education

        • University of California, Hastings College of the Law (J.D., 1994)
        • University of California, Berkeley (B.A., Philosophy and French, 1986)

Bar Admissions

        • California (1995)

Organizations

        • Attorneys of California
        • Alameda County Bar Association
        • Alameda County Trial Lawyers Association
        • Contra Costa County Trial Lawyers Association
        • Public Justice Foundation
        • American Association of Justice

Autumn Mesa

In 2001, Autumn joined Kazan Law as a law clerk after she completed her first year of law school. Autumn’s time spent as a law clerk supervised by the dynamic senior attorneys with this firm helped to guide her way and mold her into the lawyer she wanted to become. Autumn knew she wanted to be a part of this firm with such passion and dedication to see that corporations are held accountable for their horrible conduct that valued, and often continues to value its own profits above the lives and safety of men, women and children. After passing the California Bar, she accepted an associate position with the firm.

After working as an associate with the firm for several years, Autumn spent some time working in a legal aid where she assisted low income families who could not afford legal services to access the justice system. Growing up, she dreamed of becoming a lawyer to help people and to advocate for those in need. While Autumn enjoyed helping these families pursue justice, it did not compare to the satisfaction of holding corporate America accountable for its despicable acts and being able to help our clients through such a difficult experience.

Our clients are, in large part, either exposed to asbestos through their own employment or the employment of a family member. These people worked to provide for their families, and come to us because unbeknownst to them that work provided them with more than an income, but a death sentence. Each client she has met has touched Autumn’s life, and it has been such an honor to hear their stories, to seek justice on their behalf, and to ensure that their family members will be compensated for such a tragic loss. Nobody should lose a family member because of corporate greed, but for those that do, those corporations actions should not be tolerated and justice must be done.

Education:

        • Golden Gate University School of Law, Honors Lawyering Program (J.D., 2003)
        • University of California at Santa Barbara (B.A., Law & Society, 2000)

Admitted:

Joseph Nicholson

Asbestos Attorney Joseph NicholsonJoseph Nicholson joined the firm in April 2011 as a law clerk. He received a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. Joe’s student note on civil procedure in the era of cloud-computing was published in the Winter 2012 issue of Hastings Business Law Journal. During law school, he also externed for the Hon. John E. Munter in one of two complex litigation departments of the San Francisco Superior Court. In his last semester, Joe interned in the Litigation Department of the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office. These experiences impressed upon him the indispensable role that the civil justice system plays in American society, where there is often no other effective means of holding businesses accountable to the individuals and families that they injure. Joe accepted an associate position in January 2013 and works primarily on issues of civil discovery and trial preparation.

Education

        • University of California, Hastings College of the Law (J.D., 2012)
        • University of Florida (B.A., English, 2000)

Bar Admissions

        • California (2012)

Organizations

        • Alameda County Trial Lawyers Association
        • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
        • Consumer Attorneys of California
        • American Association for Justice
        • American Civil Liberties Union
        • National Lawyers Guild

Ryan Harris

Asbestos Attorney Ryan Harris Ryan joined the Kazan firm in 2012 after graduating magna cum laude from UC Hastings College of the Law, where he was an editor of the Hastings Law Journal and an active member of the National Lawyers Guild. While at Hastings, he worked with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Federal Public Defender to represent people whose most basic rights were threatened, and who often lacked the resources to fight back. Ryan also worked as a judicial extern for the Honorable Maxine Chesney at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. He is convinced that our courts can work as great equalizers to make sure that the voices of regular people cannot be drowned out by more powerful interests. When it comes to fighting for people who have been gravely injured by the reckless greed of companies who put profits before people, nobody does it with more dedication and zeal than the lawyers and staff at the Kazan firm. Ryan is honored to have the chance to join in that effort, and work with some of the best litigators in the country to make sure our clients receive everything they deserve. Ryan’s present work centers primarily on civil discovery matters and trial preparation.

Education:

        • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, magna cum laude (J.D., 2012)
        • Political Science, Arizona State University, cum laude (B.A., 2004)

Admitted:

        • California (2012)

Carole Bosch

Carole found her niche as a civil litigator, first at Hersh & Hersh in San Francisco, then at Paul & Hanley LLP and the Farrise Law Firm before joining Kazan McClain in 2013. Carole also has extensive experience working for the courts, as an intern for the Honorable Claudia Wilkin at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and as a law clerk and annual attorney at the California Supreme Court.

Carole has successfully represented plaintiffs in personal injury, civil rights, prescription drug, and toxic exposure cases. Since 2007, she has been litigating cases on behalf of numerous plaintiffs affected by asbestos exposure, including construction workers, drywallers, plumbers, pipefitters, insulators, pump mechanics, plant maintenance persons, matchplate makers, as well as the wives and children of these tradespeople who were exposed to asbestos unwittingly brought home.

Education

        • Golden Gate University, San Francisco (J.D., 2005)
        • University of Birmingham, England (M.A., 1995)

Bar Admissions

        • California (2005)
        • US District Court, Northern District of California (2006)
        • US District Court, Eastern District of California (2006)
        • US District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (2006)
        • US District Court, Central District of California (2006)
        • Washington, DC (2013)

Memberships

        • Consumer Attorneys of California
        • American Association of Justice
        • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association

Irena Kin

Irena_120x168Irena joined the Kazan firm in 2014 after relocating to the Bay Area. Irena graduated cum laude from the Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2013, where she was a senior member of the Moot Court Honor Society. She graduated summa cum laude from DePaul University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. Irena is a member of the State Bar of California and the State Bar of Illinois. She is dedicated to pursuing justice for victims of asbestos exposure.

Education

        • Chicago-Kent College of Law (J.D., 2013)
        • DePaul University, International Studies (B.A., 2010)

Bar Admissions

        • California
        • Illinois

Dawn Withers

Dawn WithersDawn joined Kazan Law in April 2014 as a law clerk and became an associate in July. She graduated with honors from Golden Gate University School of Law, where she was editor-in-chief of the Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal. While at GGU School of Law, she externed for the Honorable Teri L. Jackson at San Francisco Superior Court. She also worked for the California Department of Insurance, focusing on qui tam litigation; the California Appellate Project, assisting clients on death row who were awaiting appellate counsel; and the Homeless Advocacy Project, representing indigent clients facing eviction. She looks forward to bringing her dedication to public service and consumer protection to working on behalf of our asbestos clients. Dawn’s work will focus on law and motion practice.

Education

        • Golden Gate University School of Law (J.D., 2013, with Honors)
        • San Francisco State University (B.A. Journalism, 2005, Magna Cum Laude)

Bar Admissions

        • California (2014)

Publications

        • “Looking for a Home: How Micro-Housing Can Help California,” Golden Gate U. Evntl. L. J., 2012

Organizations

        • The Queen’s Bench
        • Bar Association of San Francisco
        • Alameda County Bar Association
        • Women Lawyers of Alameda County

Stephanie Wargo-Wilson

Stephanie Wargo-WilsonStephanie Wargo-Wilson comes to Kazan Law from the San Francisco Public Defender’s office where she served as a Deputy Public Defender since 2002. As San Francisco Deputy Public Defender, Stephanie helped defend thousands of people who could not otherwise afford an attorney.

Stephanie graduated from the UCLA School of Law in 2001 with outstanding grades. While at UCLA, she already showed her interest in justice as a board member and volunteer at the UCLA Free Clinic. During her law school years she clerked at the Los Angeles Federal Public Defender’s office. She was also an extern for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Education

        • UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA (J.D., 2001)
        • Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, Mathematics and Psychology (B.A., 1998)

Bar Admissions

      • California

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