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Practical advice for diverse attorneys ready to go in-house

  • BlackRock 400 Howard Street San Francisco, CA, 94105 United States (map)
May 15

Juan Walker


Juan Walker is Senior Corporate Counsel in the Commercial Litigation Group of Oracle's Legal Department. Prior to joining Oracle, he served as the Director of Litigation for Varian Medical Systems in Palo Alto. He has over 20 years of experience in commercial litigation as well as experience counseling on privacy law, employment law and regulatory compliance. Prior to joining Varian, he was an Assistant United States Attorney working in the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco where he represented the government in civil litigation matters. He also worked as an associate in two private law firms--Downey Brand, LLP in Sacramento and Gordon & Rees, LLP in San Francisco -- and served as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) Officer in the U.S. Air Force. He teaches Negotiations as a Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School. He earned a J.D. from Southern Methodist University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.


Hassan Abedi 

Associate Market Manager 

Hassan is the Associate Market Manager for the San Francisco Market of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. Alongside the Executive leadership of Willie Thomas, Hassan leads the efforts of Financial Advisors across four offices. 

Hassan joined Merrill Lynch in 2006 as an attorney in the legal department. His first role was as Divisional Counsel for what at the time was the Central Division, headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Since that time Hassan has provided counsel and guidance related to risk, litigation, and compliance issues faced by the Merrill Lynch Wealth Management line of business. His last role within the legal department encompassed supervision of customer related litigation for the three Divisions (Mid West, Texas Mountain South, and West) and the Edge line of business. 

Prior to joining Merrill Lynch Hassan worked at a national law firm with the bulk of his work focused on defense of Brokerage Firms and Financial Advisors. Hassan has also served as a staff attorney at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Hassan received his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University Law School and received his LL.M. from Georgetown Law Center. Hassan is passionate about initiatives around diversity and inclusion and is also passionate about providing pro-bono legal services to underserved communities. 

Hassan and his wife Affy live in Walnut Creek, CA and have two children: Ella and Tess. 


Sari Bourne Kaplan


Sari Bourne Kaplan is Registered In-House Counsel, Corporate Counsel, in the Healthcare Law Group of Genentech’s Legal Department.  Before her current role, Sari was a senior associate at Hogan Lovells, an international law firm co-headquartered in London and Washington D.C., where she counseled pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients on regulatory matters related to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and state laws.  Sari also worked at another law firm, Arnall Golden Gregory, where she advised the pharmaceutical, medical device, food, dietary supplement, and cosmetic industries.  Sari earned her B.A. with honors from Stanford University and her J.D. from Emory University School of Law.  She is a member of the Food and Drug Law Journal Editorial Advisory Board, and founded the Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) division for new attorneys (New to Food and Drug Law Group).  Sari is also involved in the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), and local Jewish organizations.  In her free time, Sari enjoys spending time with her husband, Matt, and supporting inclusive diversity initiatives.


Suzette Z. Torres

North American Title Company

Suzette Z. Torres is Vice President/Regional Counsel of North American Title Company, Inc.’s (“North American Title”) She provides legal and escrow advisory support to North American Title’s branches throughout the Western Region which includes California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. Her duties include handling compliance and employment issues, providing underwriting guidance, and advising on commercial transactions.
Prior to joining North American, Ms. Torres worked for another national underwriter, first as VP/Trial Counsel, and later transitioned to VP/Underwriting Counsel. When she was in private practice, she rose up to partnership at her firm (Bardellini, Straw, Cavin & Bupp LLP) and became the only minority, female, equity partner. Her practice included resolving title and escrow claims, negotiating business disputes, managing contract negotiations, trials and handling several adversary proceedings in bankruptcy.

Suzette served as the District 4 Governor of the California Women's Lawyer's Association (the largest women's bar association statewide) and was the Chair of the In House Counsel Network. She is an active member and former Co-Chair of the In-House Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, a member of the Filipino Bar Association-Northern California, and a member of the San Francisco and East Bay Chapters of CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women). 

 She has been rated AV Preeminent® by her peers, the highest rating given by Martindale-Hubble®. She was recently selected as an honoree for the 2018 National Women in Law (Collaborative Leadership Category) by Corporate Counsel and InsideCounsel, which honors general counsel and in-house leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the empowerment of women in law.

Gabriela LinkedIn pic.jpg

Gabriela Garcia Amandi



Alex Ponce de Leon

Google LLC

Earlier Event: April 4
Noche de Gala 2019