Law School Alumni

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We’re proud of our successful law school alumni.

Empire College alumni comprise approximately 25 percent of the Sonoma County Bar. Thirteen are now members of the judiciary in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake, Lassen, Calaveras, and Merced counties, along with one in Arizona. A partial list of alumni appears below.

Tadd C. Aiona, Attorney at Law, Provencher & Flatt LLP

Hon. Shelly Averill, Sonoma County Superior Court Judge

Jared J. Babula, Senior Staff Counsel, California Energy Commission

Hon. Raima H. Ballinger, Sonoma County Superior Court Judge

Hon. Carla Bonilla, Sonoma County Superior Court Commissioner (retired)

Craig T. Brooks, Deputy District Attorney, Sonoma County; President, Sonoma County Prosecutors Association

Hon. Ron W. Brown, Mendocino County Superior Court Judge (1996-2011)

Jeanne M. Browne, Attorney at Law, Private Practitioner

Hon. Jeanne M. Buckley, Sonoma County Superior Court Commissioner (retired)

Hon. Thomas S. Burr, Commissioner, Superior Court of Merced County (retired)

Anne D’Arcy, Associate, Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller & Moskowitz LLP

Teresa de la O, Attorney at Law, Private Practitioner

Jeffrey E. Duplicki, Associate, McMillan & Shureen LLP

Patrick M. Dyas, Attorney at Law, Adams Nye Sinunu Bruni Becht LLP

Marlisa A. Ferreira, Senior Deputy District Attorney – Gang Unit, Stanislaus County

Gail F. Flatt, Partner, Provencher & Flatt LLP

Jacqueline D. Gillespie, Attorney at Law, Private Practitioner

Michael Gogna, City Attorney, Healdsburg and Fort Bragg; Attorney at Law, Meyers Nave

Stephen E. Hansel, President, Hansel Leasing

Donald P. Hawley, Claims Counsel, Universal Underwriters Group

John A. Holdredge, Partner, Geary, Shea, O’Donnell & Grattan PC

Sharon H. Holwerda, Attorney at Law, Bishop, Barry, Howe, Haney & Ryder

Ronald W. Horton, Attorney at Law, State Compensation Insurance Fund

Seth Howard, Attorney at Law, Law Office of Steve Turer

Yolanda M. Jackson, Deputy Executive Director and Diversity Director, Bar Association of San Francisco

Scott A. Jamar, Sonoma County Deputy District Attorney

Patrick W. Kilkenny, President/CEO, National Bank of the Redwoods

Joseph C. Kinkade, Staff Attorney, School and College Legal Services

John P. LaLonde, Deputy District Attorney, Fresno County

Heidi Larson, Deputy District Attorney, Mendocino County

John P. Levering, Associate, Mullen & Filippi LLP

Mark F. Lightfoot, Attorney at Law, American Home Shield Insurance

Hon. Paul Lozada, Sonoma County Superior Court Commissioner

Katy Rose Lusson, Attorney at Law, Protection & Advocacy, Inc.

Julianne Major, Attorney at Law, Private Practitioner

Jean Maltby, Research Attorney, Sonoma County Superior Court

Susan Moore Massini, Mendocino County District Attorney, 1987-1999

Michael G. Miller, Partner, Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller & Moskowitz LLP

Carol J. Monahan, Chief Counsel, California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

Adrienne M. Moran, Partner, Shapiro, Galvin, Shapiro, Piasta & Moran

Hon. Lawrence E. Ornell, Sonoma County Superior Court Judge

Kathleen A. Pozzi, Sonoma County Chief Deputy Public Defender

Douglas B. Provencher, Partner, Provencher & Flatt

Nathaniel Raff, Law Offices of L. Stephen Turer

Hon. Becky Rasmason, Sonoma County Superior Court Commissioner

Andy J. Rubinger, Chief Deputy Public Defender, Napa County

Peggy J. Schmeck, Attorney at Law, Sonoma County Family Mediation Services (retired)

E. Gregory Schrader, Attorney at Law, Private Practitioner

Richard S. Scott, Associate, Andrian & Gallenson

Doug Shureen, Partner, McMillan & Shureen LLP; 2006 President, Sonoma County Bar Association

Ann Thomas, Attorney at Law & Project Director, Council on Aging

Daniel Taylor, Associate Attorney, Ellis Law Group, LLP

Hon. Francisca P. Tisher, Napa County Superior Court Judge

George R. Valenzuela, Attorney at Law, Santa Rosa City Schools

J. Ross Walker, Willits City Attorney

Robert Wieworka, Staff Counsel, Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

Thomas Q. WinterMD, Of Counsel, Teal & Montgomery

Note: Listings reflect the most current information available at the time of publication. To update a listing, contact shurd@empirecollege.com.


Diane Aqui, Esq.

(Class of 2001)
Empire College gave me the opportunity to earn a Juris Doctorate while still working full time in my “first” career as an engineer. The professors are all practicing attorneys and judges and it is clear that they love what they do---guiding, teaching and mentoring a new group of potential lawyers, who one day will be their peers and practice alongside them in the legal community. I think one of my favorite cases since I graduated in 2001 was against a former Empire professor and I walked away with a win!

Andrew Conway, Esq.

(Class of 2014)
I decided to go to law school after interning for the Diversion program for the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office while I was in college. Empire provided me with friends who became colleagues, and Professors who became the Judges I appear in front of today. I have always wanted to work with the law and youth and I now manage a Dependency contract for Mendocino County, which has become my dream career as I get to do the exact job I wanted when I decided to go to law school. I definitely have my dream job thanks to Empire and their exceptional professors.

James V. Sansone, Esq.

(Class of 2006)
I picked Empire College because I had to juggle between family obligations and a fulltime job. Empire was the only option that allowed me to effectively manage my work and family obligations and still pursue a law degree. Thanks to Empire, I was able to pass the bar exam on my first try and begin a new, exciting, and lucrative legal career that I love.