Our Attorneys

M. Stacey Hawver

M. Stacey Hawver

M. Stacey Hawver
Executive Director
Stanford Law School, 1987

M. Stacey Hawver, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, has been a public interest lawyer for more than 20 years. A well known advocate on behalf of low-income residents of San Mateo County, Ms. Hawver has received the San Mateo County Women Lawyers Section’s Elinor Falvey Award for service to low income families and seniors and in 2013 was named by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as one of Silicon Valley’s Women of Influence. She recently served on San Mateo County’s 2018 Charter Review Committee, representing Communities of Concern. She also served on the County’s Closing the Jobs/Housing Gap Task Force and Community Choice Energy Advisory Committee.

Ms. Hawver joined Legal Aid as a staff attorney in 1990 where she focused her efforts on administrative law. She also worked as a Directing Attorney before becoming the Executive Director in 2002. Ms. Hawver graduated first in her class from Stanford Law School. She also has a Masters Degree from the London School of Economics and an A.B. in Economics from Cornell University.

 

Shirley Gibson
Directing Attorney
New College of California School of Public Interest Law, 1999

Shirley Gibson is Directing Attorney with the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County. Shirley came to LASSMC in 2007 to develop the housing practice and eviction defense program, which has grown over the past decade to provide direct legal services to over 1,200 tenant households each year. Before coming to Legal Aid, Shirley was a staff attorney at Eviction Defense Collaborative in San Francisco for five years, where she helped pilot San Francisco’s day-of-court representation program for pro per tenants in settlement conferences and the Family Eviction Prevention Consortium rental assistance program. As an associate with the Law Offices of Tim A. Pori, Shirley represented plaintiffs in civil rights and bad faith actions. She has a B.A. from Reed College and a J.D. from New College of California School of Public Interest Law.

 

Hope Nakamura
Directing Attorney
UCLA School of Law, 1986

Directing Attorney Hope Nakamura runs Legal Aid’s Senior Advocates program, Government Benefits Unit, and LIBRE program. She is considered a state-wide expert on government benefits. Hope graduated with an A.B. in Economics from Stanford University before attending the UCLA School of Law, and came to Legal Aid after working at the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, D.C. In her 29 years at Legal Aid, she has developed programs and worked in partnerships that educate and assist low-income families and individual residents who need safety net benefits.

 

David Carducci
Director of Litigation
University of San Diego School of Law, 1991

David Carducci practices housing law for the HomeSavers Project at Legal Aid and has over 20 years of civil litigation experience. He is also responsible for the oversight of affirmative litigation at Legal Aid and professional development of young attorneys. He is a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law and San Diego State University.  He previously worked at Bay Area Legal Aid and Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, and served on the board of the ACLU of Northern California, after moving back to the Bay Area from San Diego in 1998. David is involved in his sons' youth sports and was the President of Foster City Little League from 2015-2017.

Marianne Armenta
Staff Attorney
University of San Francisco School of Law, 2013

Evelina Chang
Staff Attorney
Hastings College of the Law, 2016

Evelina Chang is a staff attorney in Legal Aid’s Senior Advocates program and Health Consumer Center. During law school, Evelina worked as a law clerk at the NLRB - San Francisco Division of Judges. She also interned at the Legal Barriers to Employment Project at Bay Area Legal Aid. Prior to joining Legal Aid, Evelina was an associate at a workers’ compensation defense firm, and she also worked on the 2015 Butte Fire litigation at Corey, Luzaich, deGhetaldi & Riddle, LLP. Evelina graduated from UC Davis with a double major in Design and Sociology in 2011 and later graduated from UC Hastings in 2016. She is bilingual and speaks Mandarin Chinese.

 

Michelle de Blank
Supervising Attorney and Legal Director, Peninsula Family Advocacy Program
Hastings College of the Law, 1997

Michelle de Blank is Legal Aid's attorney specializing in education and access to healthcare for children with autism. She represents individual clients and also works extensively on systemic issues in both education and health. Michelle’s work has resulted in increased access to autism services for low income children in San Mateo County. Michelle is a graduate of Barnard College and received her law degree from Hastings College of the Law. Prior to coming to Legal Aid, Michelle worked at the Self-Service Center of the Santa Clara Superior Court and worked with individuals with mental health disabilities at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley.

Amira Elbeshbeshy
Staff Attorney
The Fordham University School of Law, 2011

Amira Elbeshbeshy is a staff attorney in the Health Consumer Center. After graduating from UC Irvine with a double major in Political Science and International Studies as well as a minor in Middle East Studies, Amira moved to New York City to pursue her law degree at The Fordham University School of Law. Upon graduating in 2011, Amira took a job as an agency attorney at the New York City Transit Authority, doing civil litigation defense for the Transit Authority. After moving back to the Bay Area, Amira earned her Master’s in social work with plans to continue working as an attorney in the non-profit sector.

 

Jonathan Garcia
Staff Attorney
Ventura College of Law, 2012

Jonathan Garcia is a bilingual attorney with a passion for immigration law. After graduating UC Santa Barbara with degrees in sociology and history, Jonathan worked his way through the Ventura College of Law as a graveyard shift supervisor at a local drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. After graduating law school, Jonathan went into private practice, primarily focusing on immigration law. Jonathan also spoke on local Spanish radio broadcasts, presented Know Your Rights seminars in conjunction with the Oxnard Mexican Consulate, participated in free legal clinics at the Simi Valley Clinic, and was a volunteer coach for Oxnard High School’s mock trial competitions team.

Jenny Horne
Senior Attorney
Stanford Law School, 1993

Jenny Horne works on the Teen Parent Project and Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence Project. She is a graduate of Stanford Law School and founded the Teen Parents Project as a Skadden fellow at Legal Aid in 1994. Prior to her fellowship, Jenny clerked for Judge Alfred Goodwin in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In recognition of her excellent work, she was inducted into the San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame; received the Silver Award from the Peninsula Partnership Council’s first biannual Children’s Report Initiative in 2002; and in 1999, received a Commendation from the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and the San Mateo County Perinatal Council for services provided to San Mateo County school-age parents.

  

Scott Maurer
Consulting Attorney
Santa Clara University School of Law, 1995

Scott Maurer has been representing low-income consumers since 1996. As a consulting attorney at Legal Aid, Scott is helping consumers resolve their legal issues. He is considered an expert in fair debt collection, auto fraud, and consumer privacy. Scott teaches Consumer Protection and Civil Procedure at Santa Clara Law. He also supervises students who represent consumers at Santa Clara’s civil clinic. Scott received the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA's) Legal Services/Clinical Attorney of the Year in 2003.

Diamante Rueda
Staff Attorney
Hastings College of the Law, 2015

Diamante D. Rueda is a Staff Attorney who previously worked at the International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA), where she advocated for vulnerable communities on a variety of immigration law issues. Before joining IIBA, Diamante was an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles. Her project involved working with
educational and community-based organizations and law-enforcement agencies to assist immigrant youth to become legal permanent residents. Diamante earned her law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law. At UC Hastings, she externed at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and clerked at the Marin County Counsel. Diamante was recognized for her volunteer work at numerous non-profit organizations. She is bilingual and fully fluent in Spanish.

Shane Sagisi
Law Clerk

Janet B. Seldon
Legal Aid's Director of Pro Bono,
New College of California School of Public Interest Law, 1984

Janet Seldon, Legal Aid's Pro Bono Director, graduated from New College of California School of Public Interest Law with a commitment to engage private attorneys in public interest work. She has over 31 years of experience initiating and administering pro bono legal programs and special projects, and recruits, trains, and supervises pro bono attorneys. In 2016 Janet received the San Mateo County Women Lawyers Section’s Elinor Falvey Award for outstanding service to women lawyers and the San Mateo County legal community.

 

Tricia Berke Vinson
Interim Director, Health Consumer Center
Stanford Law School, 1976

Tricia Berke Vinson is the Interim Director of Legal Aid’s Health Consumer Center. In addition to supervising the handling of individual health cases, Tricia has worked extensively on systemic issues to decrease health disparities and increase the access of low-income health consumers to health insurance and health care. She serves as the Chairperson of the Consumer Advisory Committee for the Health Plan of San Mateo and sits on the San Mateo County Cal MediConnect Advisory Committee. Tricia is a past recipient of the Legal Aid Association of California’s Award of Merit and is a recipient of the 2013 Leadership in Advocacy Award from the Association of Community Associated Plans. (ACAP) She received a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Education from Stanford University prior to attending Stanford Law School.

Jay C. White
Emeritus Attorney
LaSalle University, 1965

Jay White is a Seniors Advocate attorney who came to Legal Aid after a career as an airline 747 captain and attorney. He began volunteering at Legal Aid helping seniors address their many legal issues. He has helped with issues such as homeowner scams, credit card debt collections abuses, elder financial abuse, insurance coverage, and wage garnishments, to name just a few. Jay was recognized for his volunteerism and dedication by the Legal Aid Association of California and Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County in 2006.

 

Trevor Yan
Staff Attorney
Georgetown University Law Center, 2014

Trevor Yan is a San Francisco native who graduated from UCLA in 2010, with a degree in Communication Studies and a minor in English. From there, he went to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., getting his law degree in 2014, where he was named a Lane Evans Housing Fellow for the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. Following his graduation, he worked as a research assistant for renowned Georgetown Law professor Jane Stromseth, designing the curriculum for a seminar on mass atrocities and human rights. In 2015, he returned to the Bay Area, seeking an opportunity to explore his passion for public interest law. Since 2016, he has been deeply involved with housing issues at the Legal Aid Society.


Our Staff

Mari Chatterjee
Senior Project Coordinator

Rocio Garcia
Project Coordinator/Assistor

Francisca Guzman
Senior Project Coordinator

Natalie Keller
Project Coordinator

Vanessa Hearne
Project Coordinator

Patricia Letona
Administrative Assistant

Loreli Lopez
Office Manager

Allison Marseille
Director of Operations

Larisa Mialik
Development Assistant

Liliya Mukha
Bookkeeper

Christopher Rhoades
Project Coordinator

Rene Rivera
Accountant

Ruby Romero
Project Coordinator

Elsie Sanchez
Receptionist

Marcie Storch
Director of External Relations

Maria Zavaleta
Intake Assistant