SABA-SC Public Interest Foundation Board of Directors, 2018-2019
Radha Kulkarni, Co-President
Radha D. S. Kulkarni focuses on defending employers in a broad range of single plaintiff and class action employment matters involving claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, as well as California wage and hour issues in state and federal court. Radha additionally counsels employers regarding employment policies and handbooks, disability accommodations, leaves of absence, sexual harassment, exemption and independent contractor misclassification, executive compensation, and employment contract disputes. She also represents clients in trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition disputes. Radha has wide-ranging experience on matters involving complex issues of state and federal civil procedure.
Bobby Malhotra, Co-President
Bobby Malhotra is eDiscovery counsel with Munger, Tolles & Olson, where his practice focuses on navigating complex eDiscovery litigation issues. As a member of the firm’s litigation practice, he develops innovative, cost-effective and defensible strategies for the preservation, collection, review and production of electronically stored information. He regularly advises clients on issues related to eDiscovery preparedness, planning and execution as well as information privacy and data security. Mr. Malhotra’s extensive experience includes counseling the firm’s financial institution clients on the unique eDiscovery challenges they face in high-exposure matters arising out of the 2008 financial crisis. Mr. Malhotra is admitted to the California and Illinois bars.
Savir Punia, President-Elect
Savir Punia is an associate in the Health Sciences Department of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Los Angeles offices. Mr. Punia advises clients on a variety of corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, the formation, organization and funding of start-up businesses, venture financing, securities, corporate governance and general business counseling. He has extensive experience representing large companies in connection with public company matters, including ongoing reporting obligations under U.S. securities laws and regulations, and in corporate governance and major healthcare transactions.
Mr. Punia also has experience representing a large media company in intellectual property licensing and film and television production. He has provided support and guidance to patent holders facing invalidity proceedings in Brazilian courts; and has developed best practices for IP management and licensing for nonprofit organizations with regard to pharmaceutical drug development partnerships.
During law school, Mr. Punia served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Jesus Bernal of the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California, a legal intern in the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Minnesota, and a legal intern in the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office. He is fluent in Punjabi.
Ankit Bhakta, Secretary
Ankit Bhakta is an attorney in Varner & Brandt’s Litigation and Labor & Employment departments in Riverside. Ankit passionately represents clients in both Federal and State Courts in California in all phases of litigation. As part of the Labor & Employment department, he represents and advises employers on all aspects of compliance with federal and state employment laws and regulations including litigation prevention, wage and hour issues, labor relations, employment agreements, discrimination and harassment laws, and wrongful termination. In litigation, he handles matters related to these issues as well as business/commercial disputes involving breach of contract, breach of implied/express warranties, premises liability and false advertising.
Ankit received his undergraduate degree from UCLA in 2013 and went on to receive his J.D. from USC in 2016. He completed two certificate programs while at USC, earning certificates in both Business Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Ankit was also selected to serve on the Mediation Clinic while at USC, drawing the praise of several judges for his success in resolving cases and receiving the Volunteer of the Month Award in recognition for outstanding service as a mediator with the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. Ankit was also selected to the Jessup Moot Court Team at USC, which received the award for 7th Best Written Memorial at the regional competition held in Portland, Oregon.
Jasmin Gill, Co-Chair of Clinics and Public Service
Jasmin Gill is an attorney providing legal services covering labor and employment, business litigation, and intellectual property. Along with being a Clinics Chair for the South Asian Bar Association – Public Interest Foundation, Jasmin serves as Secretary for the executive committee of the Barristers Section at the Beverly Hills Bar Association. Jasmin obtained her J.D. in 2016 from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and graduated with a B.A. from the University of California, Riverside in 2013.
Ashwini Mate, Director of Sponsorships and Fundraising
Ashwini Mate is an appellate attorney with the Office of the Federal Public Defender in the Central District of California. In her role as an indigent defense lawyer, she aggressively advocates for the constitutional rights, and inherent dignity, of individuals accused of crimes who cannot afford a lawyer. She has been with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for nine years, arguing countless times in various federal district courts and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. After Ashwini received her undergraduate degree in English and American Studies from Wesleyan University in 2003, she went on to receive her J.D. from U.C.L.A. in 2009 with a concentration in Critical Race Studies.
Shama Mehta, Treasurer
Shama Modi Mehta is an attorney with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Department of Homeland Security), where she maintains a complex and diverse case load. Prior to that, Shama was counsel at Travelers Insurance Companies, where she primarily focused on insurance defense litigation.
Shama received her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut in 2009 and went on to receive her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 2012. While in law school, Shama served as a Senior Editor for the Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal. She also served as the Chief Operating Officer for the North American South Asian Law Students Association (NSALSA).
Dilveer Vahali, Director of Community and Public Relations
Dilveer Vahali is a partner in the Corporate M&A group of Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s Los Angeles Office. Dilveer concentrates his practice in mergers & acquisitions, private equity, and corporate finance transactions. He represents buyers, sellers, private equity funds and their portfolio companies, and financial institutions in a variety of corporate transactions including mergers and acquisitions, secured and unsecured acquisition financings, and leveraged buyouts. Prior to joining Kirkland & Ellis, Dilveer worked in investment banking as a financial analyst in Citigroup’s Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions group. He graduated from the JD/MBA program at the University of Southern California in 2014.
Shigufa Saleheen, Law Student Representative
Shigufa Saleheen is a JD candidate at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, where she is actively involved in Loyola’s Immigrant Justice Clinic, Public Interest Law Foundation, International and Comparative Law Review, and South Asian Law Student Association. Prior to law school, Shigufa graduated from UC Riverside with a B.A. in Political Science. She is an avid fiction reader and enjoys photography in her spare time.
Hemali Shah, Director of Grants and Fellowships
Neha Shah, Co-Chair of Clinics and Public Service
Vandana Kapur, SABA-SC Representative
Harsh P. Parikh, Advisor
Harsh P. Parikh
Sapna Singh, Advisor