Dinner Reception Schedule (November 16th)

6:00pm - 7:30pm

Cocktail Reception & Networking Hour

Building the network of Iranian-American attorneys and professionals 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.

7:30pm - 8:00pm

Conference Overview and Opening Remarks


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 and real estate matters. Ms. Rastegari has 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 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 was the 2017 Los Angeles Chapter President for the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA), and currently serves on the IABA National Board as Treasurer and LA Chapter Representative.

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.

Oliver RocosOliver Rocos

Oliver Rocos represents multi-national corporations, finance companies, and banks in securities and other complex commercial litigation matters, in addition to representing a range of corporate entities in sports, media, and entertainment related litigation. Prior to joining Latham & Watkins, Mr. Rocos spent over three years working as a litigation associate in the New York offices of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. Before joining Cravath, Mr. Rocos practiced law for three years as a commercial barrister from chambers in Lincoln’s Inn, London. He received a bachelor’s degree in history and another in law from Cardiff University in Wales, UK, and his master’s degree in law from Boston University.

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.

John FreedmanJohn Freedman

John Freedman's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, government investigations, white-collar criminal matters, and parallel proceedings involving simultaneous civil litigation and government investigations. Mr. Freedman's commercial litigation experience includes representing corporations, accounting firms and accountants, broker-dealers, investment advisers, corporate boards and committees, and individual corporate officers and directors in securities fraud litigation and investigations; representing clients in shareholder derivative and other fiduciary duty litigation; defending corporations in antitrust class actions and merger litigation; and other commercial litigation. Mr. Freedman also regularly represents clients in investigations and enforcement matters by the United States Department of Justice, US Securities and Exchange Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and other government agencies. He has also litigated real estate, contract disputes, intellectual property, false advertising, civil rights, employment, and other commercial matters in federal and state courts, as well as in arbitrations. Mr. Freedman has specific experience in disputes involving issues of corporate finance, valuation, statistics, and the application of generally accepted accounting principles.

Iranian American Community Award

Bita DaryabariBita Daryabari

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 attorneys, professionals, and community leaders over our round table dinner and build new relationships that could last a lifetime.

9:00pm - 9:30pm

Keynote Address by Xavier Becerra

Xavier Becerra is the 33rd Attorney General of the State of California, and is the first Latino to hold the office in the history of the state.

9:30pm - 9:45pm

IABA Foundation Scholarship Award Announcement

On behalf of the IABA Foundation, Atoosa Vakili and Sara Izadpanah 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.


Closing remarks and the Road Ahead


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.

Benefactor Sponsors

Scholar Sponsor

Patron Sponsors

Advocate Sponsors