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HAKSOO STEPHEN LEE – President
Lee Law Group, PLLC
3804 W. North B St.
Tampa, FL 33609
Practice Areas: Civil Practice Law, Bankruptcy, Business Litigation
Tel: (813) 606-4533
Summary: Haksoo Stephen Lee is a Korean American lawyer and practices in the areas of creditors’ rights, workouts, business litigation and criminal law. Haksoo graduated from Fordham University in 2003 with a bachelor of arts in philosophy. At Fordham University, he was inducted into the National Phi Sigma Tau Honor Society, was listed on the Dean’s List, and received the Loyola Scholarship for academic performance and leadership ability. During his time at Fordham, Haksoo worked as a deputy clerk for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Before attending law school, Haksoo studied at Princeton Theological Seminary and worked as an associate youth pastor and a hospital chaplain, where he earned American CPE Chaplaincy Certification. Haksoo received his Juris Doctor degree in 2009 from the University of Notre Dame Law School. During his time at Notre Dame, Haksoo participated in the Intensive Trial Advocacy program developed and taught by the faculty of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. In addition, Haksoo served as a student-attorney licensed by the Indiana State Bar at the Notre Dame Legal Aid Clinic. As a student-attorney, Haksoo represented indigent clients in the areas of trusts/estates and religious/non-profit law. Haksoo also served as a student Public Defender in the Juvenile Justice Center. Haksoo interned for Judge Dees in the Northern District of Indiana Bankruptcy Court, Judge Weissbrodt in the Northern District of California Bankruptcy Court and the Chapter 13 Standing Trustee Debra L. Miller. Haksoo was a summer associate at Hwang Mok Park and at electronics maker LG Corporation in Seoul, South Korea. After law school, Haksoo worked as a law clerk to the Honorable Lewis M. Killian, Jr., United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Florida. After clerking, Haksoo worked for a large national law firm Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, in Tampa, Florida before starting his own law firm in 2014.
ZARRA ELIAS – Vice President
401 East Jackson Street
Tampa, FL 33602
Practice Areas: Employee Handbooks, Policies & Forms,
Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention
Employment Discrimination, Harassment & Retaliation
Employment Investigations & Audits Employment Litigation
Labor & Employment,Training in the Workplace
Non-Competes & Trade Secrets, Wage & Hour Issues,
Whistleblower & Retaliation Claims
Languages: Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Mandarin), Tagalog
JULIA S. LEE – Treasurer
101 East Kennedy Blvd., #2700
Tampa, FL 33602
Practice Areas: Business Transactions
Tel: (813) 223-7474 Fax: (813) 229-6553
Summary: Julia Lee is the Treasurer at APABA Tampa Bay. Julia Lee joined the venerable firm of Trenam Kemker in September 2007 as an associate in the Business Transactions Practice Group. Prior to law school, Julia worked as a legislative aide in Washington, D.C. to Senator Bill Nelson of Florida and Senator Barbara Boxer of California. Ms. Lee received her law degree at the University of Florida College of Law (J.D., cum laude), 2007. Ms. Lee graduated from Wellesley College (B.A. in Political Science) in 2002 and attended The London School of Economics and Political Science from 2000-2001. She was named a Florida Super Lawyers, Rising Star in 2010. She is involved in the Hillsborough County Bar Association, The Florida Bar Association and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Her community involvement includes the Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay as a Board Member, The Brick and Motor Society as a Director and Founding Member, and Tampa Connection.
HANNAH CHOI – Social Chair
iQor US, Inc.
One Progress Plaza
200 Central Ave.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Practice Areas: Labor and Employment
GRACE YANG – Board Member
Gray Robinson, P.A.
401 E. Jackson St., Ste 2700
Tampa, FL 33602-5841
Practice Areas: Alcohol and Food, Hospitality, Administrative, Land Use
Languages: Mandarin Chinese (Conversational)
Tel: (813) 273-5043
Summary: Ms. Yang is the APABA Tampa Bay Representative to the Thirteeth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee as well as a Board Member and Founding Member. Grace Yang is an equity shareholder based in the Tampa office of GrayRobinson, P.A. Her practice includes compliance issues for alcohol beverage and food vendors; alcohol, hotel, restaurant, and occupational licensing work; the representation of alcohol and hospitality industry members before local, state and federal administrative agencies; alcohol-related conditional or special use permitting, variance, and other land use issues; drafting and negotiating various types of agreements; and other matters affecting hospitality industry members. Prior to joining GrayRobinson in 2005, Ms. Yang was an associate at Holland & Knight LLP’s Tampa office from 1994-2005 in the firm’s alcohol beverage team. She has written various articles and given talks to groups about liquor licensing, alcohol zoning, and compliance issues. Ms. Yang graduated from Yale University in 1994 with a B.A. degree, cum laude and with Distinction in the Major (Political Science). Among her extracurricular interests at Yale, she was on the publishing staff of the Yale Daily News college newspaper from 1991-1993 and publisher (1993-1994) and assistant publisher (1992-1993) of the Yale Daily News magazine. She graduated from Cornell Law School in 1997 with her J.D. degree. She was very involved with the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, serving as a General Editor from 1995-1996 and as a Managing Editor from 1996 to 1997. Ms. Yang is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell. She has appeared on the Chambers USA list in 2012 and 2013 as an “Up and Comer” in the national Food and Beverages: Alcohol list. She also has been named to other lists, including the Florida Super Lawyers, Florida Trend Legal Elite, and Tampa’s Legal Leaders Top Rated Lawyers. Ms. Yang currently sits on the board of directors of the Hillsborough County Bar Association, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Tampa Bay, the Yale Club of Tampa Bay, and the Tampa Bay International Business Council. She is a past chair of the Hillsborough County Bar Association Leadership Institute. She is also a past vice president of the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers and a past board member and vice president of the Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay, Florida. Ms. Yang is a 2011 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow and a 2011 graduate of Leadership Tampa. Ms. Yang grew up in northern New Jersey but has enjoyed living in Tampa since 1997. She is married to Dr. James Huang, an organ transplant surgeon. They have two children.
DEBBIE SINES CROCKETT – Board Member
Debbie Sines Crockett, Esq.
Cheffy Passidomo, P.A.
821 5th Avenue South
Naples, FL 34102
Practice Areas: Insurance Coverage
Tel: (239) 261-9300
Fax: (239) 261-9782
JIN LIU – Board Member
Carlton Fields Jorden Burt
777 S. Harbour Island Blvd., #4
Tampa, FL 33602
Practice Areas: Real Estate, Finance, Corporate.
Languages: Mandarin Chinese
Tel: (813) 229-4209
Summary: Ms. Liu is a Board Member and Founding Member of APABA Tampa Bay. Jin Liu represents note holders, servicers, and other financial institutions in workouts, loan transactions, loan sales, and disposition of real estate. Ms. Liu also represents resort developers and other developers of large commercial and residential projects in purchase and sale of both improved and unimproved property, business planning and implementation, transaction structuring, partnerships, limited liability companies, joint ventures, and a variety of loan transactions. Ms. Liu has experience advising developers and financial institutions with respect to Florida condominium filings and condominium related due diligence issues.As a bi-cultural and bilingual attorney who received legal education in both the United States and China, Ms. Liu has represented international, in particular, Chinese, clients in a variety of commercial transactions. Ms. Liu currently chairs the International Investment in Real Estate Committee of the American Bar Association’s Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section. She has organized and participated in several presentation and writing projects on cross-border real estate transactions.
Practice Areas: Business Transactions & Corporate,
EB-5, Federal and International Tax and Taxation, International Business and Taxation, Immigration.
Languages: Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese
Summary: Mr. Liu is a past president and general counsel to APABA Tampa Bay.
Raymond James Financial, Inc., Asset Management Group
880 Carillon Parkway
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
Practice Areas: Corporate, Securities.
Languages: Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese, German
Tel: (727) 567-5820
Summary: Mr. Lu is a founding member of APABA Tampa Bay.
BEEJAL P. THAKORE
Davis Basta Law Firm, P.A.
31111 U.S. 19 North
Palm Harbor, FL 34684
Practice Areas: Real Estate and Commercial Litigation, Real Estate Transactions, Condo and HOA Law
Tel: (727) 938-2255 Fax: (727) 938-2895
Summary: Ms. Thakore is a Board Member of APABA Tampa Bay.
Navigant Consulting, Inc.
101 E. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 2250
Tampa, FL 33602
Practice Areas: Forensic Accounting, Financial Investigations, Litigation Support
Tel: (813) 277-1913 Fax: (813) 277-1903
DONALD R. KIRK
Carlton Fields Jorden Burt
4221 W. Boy Scout Boulevard, Suite 1000
Tampa, FL 33607
Practice Areas: Banking, Financial Services, Bankruptcy, Creditor’s Rights and Commercial Litigation
Tel: (813) 229-4334 Fax: (813) 229-4133
Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A.
1410 N. Westshore Blvd., Suite 200
Tampa, Florida 33607
Practice Areas: Insurance Defense – Medical Malpractice
Innovative International LLC
17814 N. US Highway 41
Lutz, FL 33549
Practice Areas: Import / Export Trade, Asset Management
Languages: Mandarin, Taiwanese, Cantonese
Tel: (813) 909-2929 Fax: (813) 909-8989
Lorelei London, JD, BSN
76 4th St N Unit 476
St Petersburg, FL 33731-7028
Practice Areas: Health Law
Lorelei London received her Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Michigan. Her legal career builds on her unique professional background as a Registered Nurse specializing in critical care.
Ms. London understands the financial and emotional hardships an entire family can face when a family member is suddenly struck with a catastrophic injury or death. As an intensive care registered nurse in the Neuro-surgical and Cardiac intensive care units, she was trained to work independently and with precise attention to detail. She has first hand knowledge of when health care providers must be able to recognize subtle signs and symptoms of impending demise requiring urgent and life saving treatment.
Ms. London primarily focuses on catastrophic injury and medical negligence cases. Due to her health care knowledge and experience, she has keen insight in the evaluation, preparation, and presentation of complex medical negligence and catastrophic injury cases, including traumatic brain injuries.
LINDA J.Z. YOUNG
Buchanan, Ingersol & Rooney PC
401 E. Jackson Street, Suite 2400
Tampa, FL 33602-5236
Tel: 813 222 8180
Fax: 813 222 8189
Practice Areas: Bankruptcy, Business Disputes, Contract Disputes, Real Estate Litigation, Banking Litigation
Linda Young’s practice consists of a variety of commercial litigation matters, including bankruptcy, business disputes, contract disputes, real estate litigation and banking litigation.
Among her recent representative experience, Linda has:
- Represented secured and unsecured lenders in both state and federal court collection matters involving residential and commercial foreclosures, garnishments, proceedings supplementary to execution and other post-judgment collections matters.
- Represented corporate debtors and secured creditors in bankruptcy court cases involving various Chapter 11 bankruptcy issues, including use of cash collateral, assumption and rejection of executory contracts, claims analysis, drafting and negotiating of plan of reorganization and other post-confirmation issues.
- Appeared for and participated in hearings before state and federal courts for lender and debtor clients.
- Negotiated and drafted settlement agreements on behalf of secured and unsecured lenders.
During her time in law school, Linda gained experience serving as a judicial intern for the Honorable Alan S. Gold of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. She also worked as a legal intern for the Miami-Dade County Public Defender’s Office.
Johnson Pope Bokor Ruppel & Burns, LLP
SunTrust Financial Centre
401 East Jackson Street, Suite 3100
Tampa, FL 33602
Languages Spoken: Malay, Hokkien, Fujanese
Practice Areas: Bankruptcy and Commercial Litigation; Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights; Workouts; Banking and Transaction
Summary: Ms. Lim started the practice of law, in New York, in the bankruptcy departments of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson in 1993 and subsequently at Dewey Ballantine (now Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP). She clerked with the Honorable Cornelius Blackshear, Bankruptcy Judge (now retired) in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York. In 1998, Ms. Lim moved from New York to Florida. In 2000, she was the first Law Clerk to the Honorable Michael G. Williamson, bankruptcy judge in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division. In 2005, she joined the firm of Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, LLP, in the firm’s bankruptcy, creditor’s rights and insolvency related practice group.
At Johnson, Pope, Ms. Lim has successfully represented both corporate and individual debtors (primarily in Chapter 11 reorganization cases), secured creditors, landlords, creditor’s committees, trustees and receivers in state court restructurings.
BRIAN RUBRIGHT, FRP
Lee & Lazzara, LLP
3804 W. North B Street
Tampa, FL 33609
Banker Lopez Gassler P.A.
501 East Kennedy Blvd, Suite 1700
Tampa, Florida 33602
Practice Areas: Appellate Law
Summary: Board Certified in Appellate Practice, Sarah Lahlou-Amine is recognized as an appellate specialist by the Florida Bar, an honor earned through the Bar’s highest level of evaluation of experience and competency in appellate practice. A recognized leader in her profession, Ms. Lahlou-Amine serves as Vice Chair of the Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section, a statewide organization dedicated to excellence in appellate advocacy. Ms. Lahlou-Amine’s expertise and professionalism have also earned her an AV® Preeminent distinction, the highest available mark for professional excellence from Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Ratings. She has been consecutively noted as a Florida Rising Star by Florida Super Lawyers magazine since 2010.
Over the course of her career, Ms. Lahlou-Amine has handled appellate matters in all of Florida’s District Courts of Appeal, the Florida Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Lahlou-Amine handles all types of appeals including those arising from insurance coverage, insurer bad faith, personal injury, commercial, and contractual litigation. Ms. Lahlou-Amine’s robust and wide-ranging experience enables her to speak the language of any audience—an asset in the practice of appellate advocacy. With a focus on insurance coverage and extra-contractual matters, Ms. Lahlou-Amine handles cases and claims for coverage on commercial liability, commercial property, homeowners, automobile, directors and officers, errors and omissions, professional liability, and excess policies, among others.
Whether a matter is resolved pursuant to a well-strategized demand or through the conclusion of an appeal, Ms. Lahlou-Amine is recognized for her ability to work with clients and trial counsel to design legal strategies from start to finish to achieve her clients’ goals. Once the goals are identified and the strategy designed, Ms. Lahlou-Amine turns her focus to the details, creating compelling written products and preparing zealous oral arguments to advocate for her clients. Throughout that process, the big-picture analysis remains in sight and is frequently revisited to accommodate the inevitable developments in any given case and any resulting implications for Ms. Lahlou-Amine’s individual and organizational clients.
With personal interests ranging from creative writing to theatre, and a background in mathematics and psychology, Ms. Lahlou-Amine draws on all her abilities in practicing the art and science of advocacy. She draws on her technical acumen and legal skills to implement litigation strategies that are comprehensive and cost-justified. She draws on her training in psychology to understand the motives, interests, and reasoning of the various players in the legal process in order to most effectively communicate her clients’ interests. And she draws on her talent as a skilled writer and communicator, crafting compelling arguments on behalf of her clients to give them the voice they deserve in the legal process.
As a passionate advocate with a commitment to pro bono service, Ms. Lahlou-Amine assists legal aid organizations throughout the state of Florida through trial and appellate support by providing direct legal representation to those in need and by designing and advancing programs that promote pro bono service. Ms. Lahlou-Amine has been recognized for her service by the Florida Supreme Court, the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, the Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section, the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, Bay Area Legal Services, and Stetson University College of Law. Ms. Lahlou-Amine further contributes to the development of the profession through articles and speaking engagements on appellate practice and insurance topics, including the preservation of error, appellate strategy and procedure, and tips for successfully litigating insurance coverage disputes. She also writes and presents on professionalism topics, including the importance of pro bono service, professional fulfillment, and the critical role of diversity and inclusion in the practice of law.
ASHWIN R. TREHAN
Ford Harrison, LLP
101 E. Kennedy Boulevard, Suite 900
Tampa, FL 33602
Practice Areas: Labor and Employment
View Professional Bio at Ford Harrison LLP
Ashwin Trehan is a member of Ford Harrison’s wage and hour practice group and concentrates his practice on FLSA litigation, including collective actions.
Ashwin also represents management in claims of violation of Title VII, the ADA, the ADEA, the FMLA, and state employment discrimination laws. He also has experience assisting employers with labor relations matters including unfair labor practice charges.
Prior to joining FordHarrison, Ashwin was an associate in the Tampa office of a large national law firm. In this role, he defended companies in employment litigation, unfair labor practice litigation, debt collection practices litigation, commercial litigation and white collar crime litigation.
During law school, Ashwin was a member of the University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy. He also served as a judicial extern in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for the Honorable Kenneth A. Marra. While pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Economics, Ashwin completed an advanced Spanish language and culture program at the Universidad Internacional Menendez Pelayo in Barcelona, Spain.
Law Offices of Han-Ralston, PLLC, Managing Member
Westshore International Plaza
2202 N. Westshore Blvd., Suite 200
Tampa, FL 33607
Practice Areas: Immigration, Business, Real Estate.
Professional Bio at Han-Ralston, PLLC.
Summary: Ms. Han-Ralston is a founding member of APABA Tampa Bay. Ms. Hongling Han-Ralston is the managing member of the Law Offices of Han-Ralston, PLLC. She primarily practices in the areas of international business transactions, immigration, real estate and general commercial transactions. Ms. Han-Ralston received Master of Law from Renmin University of China, J.D. with honor from Indiana University School of Law, and LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law. She was an Associate Editor for Indiana International & Comparative Law Review and a Graduate Editor for NYU Journal of International Law and Politics. She is admitted to practice law in California,Florida and New York and also holds the Chinese Bar Qualification Certificate.Ms. Han-Ralston is actively involved in the Tampa Bay business community and Asian Community. She is the immediate past President of the Asian American Chambers of Commerce of Tampa Bay, and sat on the Board of Directors of the World Trade Center Tampa Bay. She co-founded the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay, and served at the Board of Directors of the Suncoast Association of Chinese Americans. Her involvements in the Tampa Bay community and achievements have been featured in the Tampa Bay Business Journal, Maddux Business Report, 2007 Tampa Bay Corporate Guide (an annual publication of Tampa Bay Partnership) and other media. She has been frequently sought for interviews by media for issues relating to China, including Fox 13 news, St. Pete Times, Tampa Tribute and Tampa Bay Business Journal. Ms. Han-Ralston was awarded the 2007 Business Woman of the Year for the International category by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She was honored as winner of the Year 2008 40 under 40 by the Gulf Coast Business Review.
The Usman Law Firm, P.A.
14517 N 18th St.
Tampa, FL 33613
Practice Areas: Litigation, Employment law, Business Law
Professional Bio at The Usman Law Firm, P.A.
Summary: Derek Usman is founder and managing principal of The Usman Law Firm, P.A. in Tampa, Florida. Prior to relocating to Tampa, Derek practiced law in Chicago, Illinois for a nearly a decade.
A significant portion of Derek’s practice consists of business litigation, representing corporate clients in commercial disputes. Derek handles all aspects of such disputes, including initial investigations, settlement negotiations, alternate dispute resolution, motion practice, and trial. Employment litigation for workplace disputes is also a focus of Derek’s practice.
Before entering private practice in Chicago, Derek had significant tenures at several Fortune 500 companies while earning his undergraduate degree at Indiana University (IPFW) – Fort Wayne. After graduating with a B.S. in Business in 1997, Derek enrolled at the Northern Illinois University College of Law and received his J.D. in 2001. He then joined the Controller’s Office at Illinois Institute of Technology and earned the LL.M. Taxation degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law (IIT) in 2005. Derek is also a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Illinois.
As a lawyer and CPA, Derek also provides general counseling and risk management advice to businesses. Derek currently serves as outside general counsel to multiple companies. In that role, Derek helps businesses evaluate legal and tax issues as they arise, prepares businesses to minimize their liability in the future, and provides business and tax planning advice.
Derek is an active member of the New Tampa Rotary Club. Additionally, Derek is also a regular attendee at Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church in Tampa. He also maintains a membership with the Hillsborough Bar Association.
Derek is admitted to practice before the bars of Florida, Illinois, United States Tax Court, United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida and United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.