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SABA-SC applauds the historic appointment of the Honorable Halim Dhanidina to Division Three of the Second District Court of Appeal. If confirmed, Judge Dhanidina will be the first Muslim-American and the first South Asian American justice on the Court of Appeal.

In 2012, Governor Brown appointed Judge Dhanidina to his current position, making him the first Muslim-American judge in the state of California. Prior to joining the bench, Judge Dhanidina was a Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County for 14 years, prosecuting cases for the elite Hardcore Gang and Major Crimes Divisions before serving in the District Attorney’s Special Operations Administration. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations from Pomona College in 1994, and a Juris Doctorate from UCLA Law School in 1997.

Judge Dhanidina has a long history of service in the community and has been a steadfast supporter of diversity in the legal profession. He was an Executive Board Member for SABA-SC and in 2016, Judge Dhanidina was awarded SABA-SC’s Trailblazer Award. Judge Dhanidina also has served the South Asian community with his volunteer work at Asian Americans Advancing Justice and Muslim-Jewish NewGround. As a board member of Muslim-Jewish NewGround, Judge Dhanidina has worked tirelessly to foster dialogue, cooperation, and partnership between Muslim and Jewish communities.

Congratulations, Judge Dhanidina!

SABA-SC congratulates Kalpana Srinivasan and Laboni Hoq for receiving the Cornerstone Award and Public Interest Achievement Award, respectively, at the SABA North America Annual Conference last month. Special thanks to all of the SABA-SC members who traveled to New York City to attend this Conference!

On July 12, SABA-SC hosted its Orange County Mixer at Minyard Morris in Newport Beach. The event was filled with great conversations and delicious food. Thanks to everyone who attended and stay tuned for opportunities to connect at our upcoming events!

Meet Our Board

Marize Alphonzo

Marize Alphonso is anassociate at Reder & Feig, LLP, a boutique entertainment law firm in Century City. She specializes in production services with an emphasis on Amazon Studios’ scripted TV shows. Marize has also served as production counsel on independent movies and represented entertainment and media clients.

Marize has been actively involved in SABA-SC since law school and is currently serving her second term on the Board as Community Outreach Co-Director. Her favorite SABA-SC event is the Day of Service because it offers a great way to give back to the community while also giving our members a chance to spend quality time together.

Marize is a firm believer in “do what you love & love what you do” and tries to apply this principle to all aspects of her life. Marize volunteers her time with Reading to Kids and the South Asian Network. She also sings with the LA Lawyers’ Philharmonic Legal Voices chorus, organizes the Leviosa fan convention, and is an enthusiastic member of a book club, a baking club, and a pub trivia team.

Pooja Patel

Pooja Patel recently moved to Los Angeles where she joined Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP as a labor and employment attorney. Pooja represents private and public entities in labor and employment disputes and administrative matters. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, hiking with her dog, Aspen, and exploring new parts of the city.

Pooja joined SABA-SC’s Board this year as Co-Director of Community Events. Previously, Pooja was a member of SABA-Ohio and served as Secretary of the North American South Asian Law Students Association. Pooja is passionate about helping the community, and SABA provides her with an opportunity to serve. Her favorite quote is "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

Upcoming Events

July 24, 2018

Silicon Beach In-House Counsel Diversity Mixer

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Snap Inc., 2772 Donald Douglas Loop North, Santa Monica

The California Minority Counsel Program is hosting a casual networking event for minority in-house counsel. For more information or to register, please visit:

August 1, 2018

Joint APA Bar Association Summer Mixer

6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Bonaventure Brewing Company, 404 South Figueroa St. Los Angeles

SABA-SC is co-sponsoring a Joint APA Summer Mixer with the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association. The event is honoring Joshua Groban, Senior Advisor for Policy and Appointments, Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. For more information or to register, please visit:

Job Announcements

Wilson Elser is seeking to hire a General Liability Associate (3-5 years’ experience) for its Los Angeles office. Candidates must have experience with general liability, toxic tort, professional liability or complex insurance coverage defense. Interested candidates can apply online or send credentials to and include “LA General Liability Associate Attorney” in the subject line.

The Inner City Law Center is seeking to hire a Litigation Director and a Managing Attorney. For more information, please visit

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South Asian Bar Association of Southern California P.O. Box 4587, Cerritoes, CA 90703-4587
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