Agenda

Click on the tabs below to see the full schedule.

(November 16th) Dinner Reception Schedule

6:00pm - 7:30pm

Cocktail Reception & Networking Hour

Building the network of Iranian-American attorneys is one of the biggest goals of the IABA. By building our connections with each other, we could develop more resources for our practices and help build a foundation for our community.

7:45pm - 8:00pm

Conference Overview and Opening Remarks

Speakers:

Ramin Montazeri (Moderator) Bio

Mr. Montazeri is an associate at Latham & Watkins LLP as a Project Finance attorney, specializing in the power, oil and gas sectors, and has an active pro bono practice with a focus on immigration matters. Mr. Montazeri is the current Vice President of the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA) and previously served as the President of the National Muslim Law Student's Association. He graduated cum laude from University of California, Irvine, where he received a B.A. in Political Science and Business Economics. Thereafter he received a J.D. degree from Columbia Law School in 2013, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Mr. Montazeri also attended Sorbonne Law School in Paris, receiving a certificate in International Business Law and Governance. He also received the IABA scholarship for outstanding service to the Iranian American community.

Natalie Rastegari (Moderator)

Natalie Rastegari is a litigation associate at Salisian | Lee LLP. Ms. Rastegari’s practice is focused on representing Southern California-based businesses and individuals in a wide variety of business matters. Prior to joining Salisian | Lee, Ms. Rastegari began her career and sharpened her legal skills at a business litigation firm in Orange County. While there, she gained significant experience inside and outside of the courtroom, handling all phases of litigation and settlement negotiations, including pre-trial and jury trial practice. Ms. Rastegari also worked as a law clerk for the Orange County Public Defender’s Office, where she gained valuable experience in criminal defense work. Ms. Rastegari received her J.D. from USC’s Gould School of Law. While there, she externed for Justice Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. During the course of her legal studies, Ms. Rastegari also worked in her law school’s immigration clinic and for a prominent civil rights and employment litigation firm in downtown Los Angeles. She received her B.A. from UCLA, graduating ​cum laude​. Ms. Rastegari is the 2017 Los Angeles Chapter President for the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA). Ms. Rastegari is admitted to practice law in California and before the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

8:00pm - 8:30pm

Honoree Speakers and Awards

Outstanding Probono Award

Latham & Watkins LLP and the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) partnered together to represent Iranian religious minority refugees who were completing the refugee process to the United Stated in Vienna pursuant to the Lautenberg Amendment program which facilitates the refugee admission of certain vulnerable groups, and persecuted religious minorities. These Iranian refugees started receiving denial letters one after another (nearly 90 people) and were now stranded in Vienna with an uncertain future. In a successful effort, the L&W and IRAP teams obtained an order for the government to disclose individualized reasons for mass denials so that plaintiffs can meaningfully request a review of the denials and also obtained a class certification for these nearly 90 people. While different aspects of this litigation is continuing, this is another worthy event in challenging immigration practices that target and negatively impact the Iranian-American community. To this end, the Iranian American Bar Association expresses its appreciation to Latham & Warkins LLP and the International Refugee Assistance Project, and awards the 2018 Outstanding Probono Awards to this effort.

Partnership in Service Award

When the IABA decided that it needs to challenge the travel ban through the course, John Freeman and Arnold & Porter joined these efforts and committed the resources and expertise that was needed to develop the case and organize these efforts. The National Immigration Law Center similarly joined these efforts, and together with IABA and others are currently challenging the waiver program of the travel ban in their latest efforts. The IABA values the contribution of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP and the National Immigration Law Center, and is honored to award these institutions the Partnership in Service Award of 2018.

Iranian American Community Award

Bita Daryabari is an Iranian-born philanthropist, entrepreneur and computer scientist. She has founded several community organizations that relate to the Iranian-American experience in different ways. She has contributed to educational institutions to promote research in Iranian studies, including Stanford, UC Davis and Berkley. In 2011, Bita founded a community organization in California called the Pars Equality Center that has been one of the organizations at the forefront of assisting Iranian immigrants living in the United States. Bita also contributed a $2 million for the Shahnama Project at Pembroke College in 2013. She has been a leader to move our community forward and the IABA is privileged to award her the Iranian American Community Award of the year.

8:30pm - 9:00pm

Round Table Dinner

Engage with your fellow Iranian American attorneys over our round table dinner and build new relationships that could last a lifetime.

9:00pm - 9:30pm

Keynote Address

The Keynote Address will be provided by a prominent public figure.

9:30pm - 9:45pm

IABA Foundation Scholarship Award Announcement

Atoosa Vakili and & Sara Izadpanah – The IABA Foundation will announce the recipients of the 2018 IABA Outstanding Service Scholarship Award and discuss the future of IABA’s effort to contribute to Iranian-American law students.

9:45pm

Closing remarks and the Road Ahead

Speakers:

Babak Yousefzadeh

Mr. Yousefzadeh represents employers in a full range of employment law matters, with a focus on litigation and class actions. Mr. Yousefzadeh also specializes in litigation avoidance counseling. His experience includes advising and litigation on matters involving all forms of discrimination, harassment, retaliation issues; breach of contract disputes; wrongful termination claims; wage and hour issues; independent contractor status; workplace investigations; discipline; grievance; workplace violence; Labor Code violations; and other statutory and contractual obligations. He is experienced with single plaintiff, multi-plaintiff, and class action proceedings, and practices in both state and federal bodies, in all applicable forums. Mr. Yousefzadeh is also experienced with defending employers at administrative hearings before the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, and has defended repeated claims against employers successfully, obtaining complete defense rulings. He also has successfully defended employee terminations at arbitration on behalf of unionized employers. Mr. Yousefzadeh frequently advises clients regarding various labor and employment issues, and assists companies with implementing proactive compliance strategies, gives harassment and discrimination prevention trainings, and drafts employment documents such as employment agreements, employee handbooks, and separation agreements and releases.
(November 17th) Conference Panels Schedule

8:30am - 9:00am

Registration, Breakfast, and Welcome Session

9:00am - 10:00am

Mindfulness in Legal Practice

Speakers:

Manijeh Motaghy

Dr. Manijeh Motaghy is the Founder of Mindful Business Institute and the Co-Founder, Executive Director and Teacher at Perfectly. Looking for the truth and peace, Manijeh communed with nature as a little girl. She picked up yoga in 1994 and came to Mindfulness in an undergrad class in 2004. Overjoyed by finding a formal practice and teaching that she had all her life sought and intuitively applied, she delved deeply into Mindfulness and other Buddhist teachings in order to reduce her own suffering and reach happiness. Manijeh experienced cultural shock as a teenager when she immigrated to the US at the age of 15. She finished school, went to college, married and raised two wonderful sons. She continued her education, ran businesses, experienced financial success and hardship, while managing a chaotic life that was caused by addiction in her family. She went through an emotional divorce, started all over, changed route from a materialistic world to a spiritual living, always seeking that deep sense of happiness. After obtaining her Doctorate in Psychology of Organization Management Consulting, Manijeh founded Mindful Business Institute, a consulting firm and Perfectly Here, a non-profit, to serve the community through Mindfulness-Based programs. She is a published poet and an author on the Huffington Post. Manijeh is a Certified Mindfulness Facilitator by the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Board of Behavioral Sciences (Semel Institute) and an Affiliate MAPS Teacher by the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. She has trained hundreds of people the art of Mindfulness teaching students how to manage emotions, how to arrive at inner peacefulness regardless of circumstances, how to be joyful while being productive and how to reduce stress, physical pain and more. She receives rave reviews from her students and corporate clients including Disney, Kaiser Permenente, Health Net, Motion Picture Fund & Television Hospital and many other for-profit and non-profit organizations as well as from the academic and university settings.

Mark Fingerman

Mark Fingerman is a mediator for civil disputes with an emphasis on business, personal injury, real estate, insurance coverage and intellectual property cases. Mark’s mediation style derives from 28 years of state and federal trial practice transformed by a Masters Degree in Dispute Resolution and mindfulness training as a teacher of yoga, meditation and applied contemplative practices, enabling him to offer mindfulness based mediation with an edge. "Mindfulness" refers to calmly and compassionately engaging the parties and counsel, without judgment, enabling the participants to gain a clear and complete view of the conflict. The “edge” refers to the use of a broad array of mediation techniques, including frank case evaluation as needed, with an emphasis on assisting the parties in making a deal. The goal is to work with counsel to efficiently guide the parties to a durable resolution based on reasons they understand and accept.

Moderator:

Mona Tashroudian

Mona Tashroudian is a founding partner of Tashroudian Law Group, APC ("Tash Law Group"). Mona focuses her practice on employment law litigation, including cases involving workplace discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations, and wrongful termination throughout California. Prior to practicing employment litigation, Mona worked as a litigation defense attorney at a prominent Los Angeles based law firm, representing large companies in general liability and employment matters. She has represented her clients in all phases of litigation, including through trial and arbitration. Mona earned her B.A. from the University of California, Irvine in 2006, where she triple-majored in Sociology, Political Science and Criminology. Mona received her law degree in 2010 from University of California, Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, where she served as an articles editor for the Women’s Law Review and participated in the Workers’ Rights legal clinic. During law school, Mona clerked for Presiding Justice Robert M. Mallano at the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District and the United States Department of Labor in San Francisco. Mona holds memberships with the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA) and is a Board Director for the Los Angeles Chapter of the Iranian-American Bar Association (IABA). Mona is a member of The State Bar of California and is licensed to practice before all state courts. She is also admitted to the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Central, Eastern, and Southern Districts of California

10:00am - 11:00am

Breaking Barriers: Assessing Diversity and Inclusion

Speakers:

Roxana Niktab

Roxana Niktab is a Senior Corporate Counsel at Amazon, Lab126 in Sunnyvale, California. She joined Amazon in July 2014 working in partnership with the Hardware Development team at Lab126 and currently provides the operations and supply chain legal support for Amazon’s devices business. Before joining Amazon, Roxana worked at Sullivan & Cromwell and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP as an Intellectual Property Transactions Associate. Roxana was a Program Manager at Cisco from 2006 until 2011 while attending Santa Clara University School of Law as a part time evening student. Roxana also holds an MS in Industrial Engineering from San Jose State University and BS in Software Engineering from Shahid Beheshti University.



John Tehranian

John Tehranian​ is an academic, attorney, and author. He currently serves as the Paul W. Wildman Chair and Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, California. John has litigated numerous high-profile lawsuits involving Madonna, Don Henley, B.B. King, Bettie Page, Jimi Hendrix, Winston Churchill and Perez Hilton, among others. Variety's Legal Impact Report has recognized John as one of the world’s top 50 entertainment lawyers. Billboard Magazine has identified him as one of the top music lawyers in the business. He is the author of dozens of articles and two books: Whitewashed: America's Invisible Middle-Eastern Minority, and Infringement Nation: Copyright 2.0 and You, which the Harvard Law Review has praised for its "insightful critique of the copyright regime" and "convincing case for . . . reform." He has been quoted as an expert on legal issues in such publications as​ T​he New York Times,​ Financial Times,​​ LosAngelesTimes,​​ The Hollywood Reporter​ and Christian Science Monitor.

Vahid Redjal

Vahid Redjal is currently the Senior Director of Business Operations & Legal Affairs at Reformation, a tech-minded sustainability-focused clothing company. Vahid oversees all legal aspects of the company as well as strategizing on the direction and implementation of business development and operations. Before joining Reformation Vahid was employee number 8 at Dollar Shave Club (DSC). He led and helped in all aspects and levels of the company including strategic partnerships/operations and all legal duties and responsibilities of a fast-paced wildly-successful start-up. He was an essential member of the team for all rounds of funding and acquisition of DSC by Unilever. Prior to DSC, Vahid worked at United Talent Agency where he focused on Digital and Interactive Media. Vahid holds a JD from the University of Florida - Levin College of Law where he was on the Entertainment Law Review as well as an active member in the Intellectual Property Law Society and the Sports, Entertainment, and Media Law Society. He graduated from UCLA with a bachelors in History and a minor in Cinema.

Elahe Amani

Elahe Amani is an educator and administrator with California State University System. She is a trained mediator and has conducted numerous trainings on campus and off campus on conflict resolution and peace building. Elahe works closely with ​UN Women Mediators Beyond Borders​ (MBB) and currently chair of the ​Global Circles of Women’s Intercultural Network;​ is a lead trainer of MBB and has served as co-chair of the inaugural ​Training Institute of MBB​ for women leaders; served as facilitator of ​Days of Dialogue/The Future of Policing​, dialogue between communities and police across Los Angeles. She has written extensively in English and Farsi on issues related to Human Rights, Peace and gender issues. Currently Elahe is Director of Technology and Deputy Coordinator of Title IX at CSU Fullerton.

Moderator:

Atoosa Vakili (moderator)

Atoosa Vakili is the founder and managing attorney at the Law Office of Atoosa Vakili, US Immigration Legal Services. She specializes in business and employment immigration and “employer compliance” as it relates to the employment of foreign nationals. Atoosa has over 25 years’ experience in providing legal services. She has served as legal consultant to businesses in various sectors, including healthcare, hospitality and food industry, manufacturing, construction, real estate, financial, high tech and the entertainment industries. Atoosa received her undergraduate degrees in Math/Computer Science and French Literature from Binghamton University in the state of NY. She obtained her law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law and was admitted to the Bar of California and the 9th Federal Circuit in 1989. Atoosa started her legal carrier at the San Diego civil litigation firm of Backes, Friesen & Wolf and later formed the partnership law firm of Solomon & Vakili. In 2009, she formed US Immigration Legal Services to concentrate on an immigration law practice, while continuing her business and transactional practice. Atoosa is an active member of the California Bar Association, the Orange County Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). She currently serves as Advocacy Liaison for the Southern California Chapter of AILA and Middle East Consular Liaison for AILA Middle East Chapter. She is an active member of the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA) and was chair of the IABA Foundation from 2014-2016. She is active in philanthropy and community service and is director of the youth leadership program for C.H.I.L.D. International.

11:00am - 12:00pm

Judges' Panel: Perspectives from the Bench​

Speakers:

Judge Ashley Tabaddor

A. Ashley Tabaddor teaches ​Immigration Law and Practice​. Professor Tabaddor was appointed as an immigration judge in November 2005. Judge Tabaddor served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Central District of California in Los Angeles from May 2002 to November 2005. Judge Tabaddor also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California Law School. She served as a trial attorney with the Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Division, Department of Justice, in Washington, D.C., from September 2000 to May 2002. During this period, Judge Tabaddor also served as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School. She served in the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge in Falls Church, Virginia as an attorney advisor from July 1999 to September 2000, and as a judicial law clerk/attorney advisor from September 1997 to July 1999. Judge Tabaddor worked as a summer law intern in the immigration court in Los Angeles from June 1996 to August 1996. She is a member of the California Bar. She received a B.A. ​cum laude​ from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Judge Tabaddor is author of "Race Matters: Are Middle Easterners Really White?" which is a review of ​Whitewashed: America's Invisible Middle Eastern Minority,​ by John Tehranian, Levantine Cultural Center, February 20, 2010; and the opinion ​In re Perez-Cruz​, No. A95 748 837 (Immigration Ct. L.A., Cal. Feb 9, 2009), appeal filed.

Judge NAHAL IRAVANI-SANI

Nahal Iravani-Sani is a Superior Court Judge presiding in Santa Clara County, California. Prior to joining the bench, she was a Deputy District Attorney for 22 years, representing the People of the State of California through all phases of the criminal justice system, including Violent Felonies, Domestic Violence, Narcotics, Consumer Fraud and Environmental Crimes. She was most recently assigned to the Sexual Assault Unit where she prosecuted rape, child molestation, and human trafficking cases. Judge Iravani-Sani earned her Bachelor of Arts in 1990 from the University of California, Irvine in Social Ecology, with an emphasis in Criminology and Legal Studies. She earned her Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1993. Dedicated to education and mentorship, Judge Iravani-Sani instructed Trial Advocacy at Stanford Law School and Santa Clara University School of Law, and coached the award winning Willow Glen High School Mock Trial Team. She enjoys serving as a mentor to the next generation of trial attorneys. As an immigrant to the United States at a young age, Judge Iravani-Sani is passionate about her role as an ambassador of the Iranian-American community, and giving back to her adopted country. She has served in leadership positions on nonprofit community and professional organizations, including the boards of the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA), Pars Equality Center, and the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA). Judge Iravani-Sani has been the recipient of the Unity Award by the San Francisco Minority Bar Coalition and the Distinguished Service Award by the Iranian American Bar Association. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Judge’s Night Diversity Award by the Santa Clara County Bar Association for her commitment and leadership in promoting diversity in the legal profession. In 2017, California Governor Edmund G. Brown appointed Hon. Iravani-Sani as the first Iranian-American judge ever to serve on the Santa Clara County Superior Court.

Moderator:

Sara Izadpanah

Ms. Izadpanah is a graduate of the University of California at Davis, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and a minor in Spanish. She holds a law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she focused her studies on international law and public interest law. During law school, Ms. Izadpanah was a member of the Maritime Law Journal and an advocate at the Human Rights Clinic. Through this program, Ms. Izadpanah participated in the Commission on Human Rights Conference at the United Nations with the Human Rights Advocates (HRA) in Geneva, Switzerland in 2003, where she presented a paper on the Juvenile Death Penalty which is still practiced in many nations including Iran. Ms. Izadpanah, through HRA, was involved in closed-table discussion groups with members of countries still in practice of juvenile death penalties in order to assist in the change of their laws. After law school, Ms. Izadpanah focused her career on immigration law, specifically in the areas of deportation defense, asylum law, family immigration, business immigration, and criminal immigration matters. She is a member of the California State Bar, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Federal District Court. She is also an active member in American Immigration Lawyers Association, IABA, Iranian American Lawyer's Association, and the San Francisco Bar Association. She is also a member of the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans and the Pars Equality Center. Ms. Izadpanah took a hiatus from immigration law for one and half years in order to broaden her legal horizons in providing Corporate Law, Contract Law, and Employment Law services specifically catered to doctors and dentists at Dental Medical Counsel, PC. Ms. Izadpanah then returned to the immigration field to continue her efforts in providing legal services to the immigration community. Ms. Izadpanah also provides pro bono services through the Lawyer's Committee of Civil Rights, the San Francisco Bar Association, Immigration Legal Resource Center, Arab Cultural and Community Center, and has provided assistance and an immigration clinic through the Pars Equality Center.

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Lunch & Networking Break / Speaker

1:00pm - 2:15pm

The State of Iranian-Americans: ​Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

Speakers:

Babak Yousefzadeh

Mr. Yousefzadeh represents employers in a full range of employment law matters, with a focus on litigation and class actions. Mr. Yousefzadeh also specializes in litigation avoidance counseling. His experience includes advising and litigation on matters involving all forms of discrimination, harassment, retaliation issues; breach of contract disputes; wrongful termination claims; wage and hour issues; independent contractor status; workplace investigations; discipline; grievance; workplace violence; Labor Code violations; and other statutory and contractual obligations. He is experienced with single plaintiff, multi-plaintiff, and class action proceedings, and practices in both state and federal bodies, in all applicable forums. Mr. Yousefzadeh is also experienced with defending employers at administrative hearings before the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, and has defended repeated claims against employers successfully, obtaining complete defense rulings. He also has successfully defended employee terminations at arbitration on behalf of unionized employers. Mr. Yousefzadeh frequently advises clients regarding various labor and employment issues, and assists companies with implementing proactive compliance strategies, gives harassment and discrimination prevention trainings, and drafts employment documents such as employment agreements, employee handbooks, and separation agreements and releases.

Jamal Abdi

Jamal Abdi joined the National Iranian American Council as Policy Director in November 2009, directing NIAC's efforts to monitor policies and legislation, and to educate and advocate on behalf of the Iranian-American community. He has served as President of NIAC since August 2018, and also serves as the Executive Director of N​IAC Action​, the group's sister organization. Abdi joined NIAC's team following his work in the US Congress as Policy Advisor on foreign policy, national security and immigration issues. As one of a small number of Iranian Americans working on the Hill, he served as a Congressional advisor, liaison, and expert on foreign affairs, immigration, and defense. Prior to coming to DC, Abdi worked in his home state of Washington as a field organizer for national Congressional elections, coordinating and establishing grassroots campaign efforts in Seattle and Bellevue. He received his B.A. from the University of Washington in Seattle, majoring in Political Science with a focus on International Relations. Jamal has written for ​The New York Times,​ ​CNN,​ ​Foreign Policy​, ​The Hill,​ and USA Today and blogs at ​The Huffington Post.​ He is a frequent guest contributor in print, radio, and television, including appearances on ​Al Jazeera,​ NPR, BBC Radio, and VOA.

Kousha Adhami

Supervising Attorney, Pars Equality Center, Los Angeles Adhami Law Group, PC, Tarzana, California Kousha Adhami began his legal career after graduating from Western University of Michigan in 2014. Kousha focused his concentration in immigration law and complex removal defense cases. Kousha began his career working on various non-profit organizations including El Rescate, Neighborhood Legal Services, and International Immigration Institute of Detroit. He also served as judicial extern for the Honorable Rosemarie Aquilina in Lansing, Michigan. Kousha currently serves as the supervising attorney at Pars Equality Center in Los Angeles. As an attorney in private practice, Kousha is the owner of Adhami Law Group located in Tarzana. Kousha focuses his practice in all forms of deportation defense, including applications for asylum, permanent residence, criminal waivers, special immigrant juvenile petitions, and more. Kousha is fluent in Persian and conversational in Spanish. He enjoys advocating for immigrant rights. Associations and Memberships include:
  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of New Mexico
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association

Morad Ghorban

Morad Ghorban​ currently serves as PAAIA's Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy. Working to forward PAAIA's advocacy agenda, Morad is responsible for directing PAAIA's policy initiatives, planning and executing PAAIA's government relations strategy, and orchestrating PAAIA’s electioneering activities. From 2008 through 2010, Morad served as PAAIA’s Legislative Director. Prior to this, Morad served as the Political Director of the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) – which merged with PAAIA in July of 2008 as the organization's registered bipartisan Political Action Committee (PAC). Prior to joining IAPAC, Morad served on the staff of U.S. Representative John Linder from 1995 to 2000. As the Senior Constituent Service Representative, he managed and coordinated constituent casework and acted as chief liaison to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense.

Moderator:

Natalie Rastegari (Moderator)

Natalie Rastegari is a litigation associate at Salisian | Lee LLP. Ms. Rastegari’s practice is focused on representing Southern California-based businesses and individuals in a wide variety of business matters. Prior to joining Salisian | Lee, Ms. Rastegari began her career and sharpened her legal skills at a business litigation firm in Orange County. While there, she gained significant experience inside and outside of the courtroom, handling all phases of litigation and settlement negotiations, including pre-trial and jury trial practice. Ms. Rastegari also worked as a law clerk for the Orange County Public Defender’s Office, where she gained valuable experience in criminal defense work. Ms. Rastegari received her J.D. from USC’s Gould School of Law. While there, she externed for Justice Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. During the course of her legal studies, Ms. Rastegari also worked in her law school’s immigration clinic and for a prominent civil rights and employment litigation firm in downtown Los Angeles. She received her B.A. from UCLA, graduating ​cum laude​. Ms. Rastegari is the 2017 Los Angeles Chapter President for the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA). Ms. Rastegari is admitted to practice law in California and before the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

2:15pm - 3:30pm

In the Pursuit of Justice: Counseling Clients After the Latest Immigration and Travel Ban Developments

Speakers:

Ally Bolour

Ally Bolour​ has been practicing immigration law since 1996. He is the managing attorney of Bolour Immigration Group, a full service immigration law firm with offices in Los Angeles and Palm Springs. He is an elected Director at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Previously, he served on the Board of Trustees at the American Immigration Council and also the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (formerly IGLHRC, now Outright.) He is a member of the LA County Bar Association & the LGBT Bar Association. Ally is a frequent speaker on immigration issues for AILA and other local, national, and international organizations. He is fluent in Persian.

David Strashnoy

David Strashnoy is a Senior Attorney with Stone Grzegorek Gonzalez LLP and a former Consular Officer with the U.S. Department of State. Based on that experience, he has been able to successfully resolve difficult consular processing matters across all visa categories for SGG clients and also has substantial expertise in preparing E-2 and E-1 visa applications on behalf of entrepreneurs seeking to start businesses in the United States. He is a member of SGG’s Investor and Entrepreneur practice group, where he manages the source of funds component of all of the firm’s I-526 petition filings for individual EB-5 investors seeking permanent residence. He also assists regional centers seeking initial or amended designations, as well as approval of exemplar petitions. David has also represented clients in a wide variety of other visa categories, including L-1A, L-1B, H1-B, TN, B1/B2, O-1, and EB-1, among others. David spent nearly 10 years serving with the U.S. Department of State in Latin America, Europe, Russia, and Washington, D.C. As a former Consular Officer, he has broad immigration expertise developed through years of experience managing overseas consular operations and adjudicating all classes of visas. While serving in Mexico, he was the lead adjudicator on E-2, E-1, and TN visas, and regularly conducted outreach to multinational companies and medium-sized enterprises to consult on visa processing best practices. Prior to his involvement in immigration law, David was a civil litigator at multiple law firms in Northern California where he represented clients in products liability, toxic torts, and contract matters. David is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers (NAFSA), serves on various professional committees, and has spoken at numerous conferences. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of California Hastings College of the Law. David was born in Ukraine and immigrated to the United States with his family as a child. He speaks Russian and Spanish.

Kousha Adhami

Kousha Adhami began his legal career after graduating from Western University of Michigan in 2014. Kousha focused his concentration in immigration law and complex removal defense cases. Kousha began his career working on various non-profit organizations including El Rescate, Neighborhood Legal Services, and International Immigration Institute of Detroit. He also served as judicial extern for the Honorable Rosemarie Aquilina in Lansing, Michigan. Kousha currently serves as the supervising attorney at Pars Equality Center in Los Angeles. As an attorney in private practice, Kousha is the owner of Adhami Law Group located in Tarzana. Kousha focuses his practice in all forms of deportation defense, including applications for asylum, permanent residence, criminal waivers, special immigrant juvenile petitions, and more. Kousha is fluent in Persian and conversational in Spanish. He enjoys advocating for immigrant rights. Associations and Memberships include:
  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of New Mexico
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association

Elica Vafaie

Elica Vafaie is a Staff Attorney & Program Manager in the National Security & Civil Rights Program at Advancing Justice- Asian Law Caucus. Elica formerly worked as the supervising attorney to establish the University of California Undocumented Legal Services Center providing free immigration legal services to U.C. students. She was the Project Director of the One Nation Initiative at the California Community Foundation in Los Angeles, where she managed the first philanthropic program in Southern California providing over $1 million in grants to Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian serving nonprofits. Elica received her B.A. from U.C. Irvine and Sciences Po, Paris and her J.D. from U.C. Davis School of Law, where she was active in the Immigration Law Clinic and a U.C. Human Rights Fellow. Elica is a 2015-2016 German Marshall Memorial Fellow and the current Northern California Chapter President of the Iranian American Bar Association.

Moderator:

John Q. Khosravi

John Q. Khosravi​ is the Managing Attorney of the JQK Immigration Law Firm, host of ImmigrationLawyersPodcast.com,​ Adjunct Professor of Immigration Law at Pepperdine and Loyola Law School and Vice-Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Law Student Outreach Committee.

3:30pm - 4:45pm

OFAC and Sanctions Law 101: Essential Concepts and Updates

Speakers:

Mehrnoush Yazdanyar

Ms. Yazdanyar works diligently to protect the rights and assets of her clients. Ms. Yazdanyar makes it a priority to educate the Iranian-American community on the current state of the law and to protect clients against criminal and civil prosecution.

Erich Ferrari

He has been interviewed on OFAC related issues by​ C​ NN​,​ T​ he New York Times,​ ​ T​ he Washington Post,​ Forbes Magazine, and​ T​ he Wall Street Journal.​ Mr. Ferrari actively writes on OFAC administered trade sanctions and has been published on the matter. In addition, he is often called upon by media outlets to speak on U.S. trade sanctions issues. With over 12 years experience in national security law, exports control, and U.S. economic sanctions, he counsels across industry sectors representing parties in a wide range of matters from ensuring compliance to defending against federal prosecutions and pursuing federal appeals.

Zaher Fallahi

Zaher Fallahi​, Attorney At Law and Certified Public Accountant (CPA), is licensed in California and Washington D.C. both as a lawyer and a CPA. With emphasis on US tax law, tax controversy, offshore un-disclosed accounts, international tax, foreign gifts, out-side general counsel services, and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Regulations regarding Iran, we represent tax and OFAC clients throughout the United States and overseas. Zaher Fallahi earned his Bachelor of Science at the National Iranian Oil Company Petroleum University of Technology, Master of Science in Accounting, Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Juris Doctor (JD) in the US. Before establishing his firm in 1992, Zaher worked in private industry, prominent US firms and in a major government agency. Mr. Fallahi testifies before the court as an expert witness on tax matters, and advises litigation attorneys on drafting tax-advantageous settlement agreements within the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. He has offices in Los Angeles and Orange Counties and conducts a regular radio program on OFAC and its tax implications in Farsi.

Sahand Borbor

Sahand Boorboor is the Bank of America Global Economic Sanctions Executive. Sahand leads a global team that manages economic sanctions risk for Bank of America, including oversight of sanctions screening functions, review of complex transactions, and investigations of potential sanctions violations. Prior to joining Bank of America, Sahand headed the sanctions advisory group at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and was an associate at the law firm of Allen & Overy LLP, where his practice focused on economic sanctions, anti-corruption, export controls, national security, and environmental regulations. Sahand received a Bachelor's degree in History and German from the University of Rochester, a Masters of Public Health from Columbia University, an LLM in German and European law from Humboldt University Berlin, and a JD from Cornell Law School.

Moderator:

Ramin Montazeri (Moderator) Bio

Mr. Montazeri is an associate at Latham & Watkins LLP as a Project Finance attorney, specializing in the power, oil and gas sectors, and has an active pro bono practice with a focus on immigration matters. Mr. Montazeri is the current Vice President of the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA) and previously served as the President of the National Muslim Law Student's Association. He graduated cum laude from University of California, Irvine, where he received a B.A. in Political Science and Business Economics. Thereafter he received a J.D. degree from Columbia Law School in 2013, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Mr. Montazeri also attended Sorbonne Law School in Paris, receiving a certificate in International Business Law and Governance. He also received the IABA scholarship for outstanding service to the Iranian American community.

4:45pm - 5:00pm

​Concluding Remarks​

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