Bienert, Miller & Katzman, PLC

Law Firm in San Clemente, CA

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Firm Overview

Bienert, Miller & Katzman are trial lawyers with an unsurpassed track record of getting results. The firm's lawyers have litigated more than 100 complex trials and dozens of appeals and have been recognized as among the best in their practice areas by U.S. News and World Report, Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers. Our lawyers, several of whom are leaders in their respective Bar Associations, include nationally recognized former prosecutors, public defenders, civil litigators, and the former United States Trustee for all of Southern California.

Our firm is a leader in complex federal white-collar criminal litigation. Our attorneys have handled cases in a wide variety of areas, including: Accounting Fraud, Bank Fraud, Bankruptcy Fraud, Bribery, Computer Crimes, Counterfeiting, Credit Card Fraud, Embezzlement, Environmental Offenses, Extortion, Forgery, Import-Export Offenses, Insider Trading, Human Trafficking, Internet Fraud, Medicaid/Medicare Fraud, Money Laundering, Mortgage Fraud, Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes, Procurement Fraud, Public Corruption, Racketeering/RICO, Tax Evasion, Tax Fraud, Email Intercepting, Health Care Fraud, Identity Fraud, Insurance Fraud, Investment Fraud, Securities Fraud, Telemarketing Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Witness Tampering. In addition to vigorously defending our clients during the investigation and trial stages of a case, we are experienced in identifying alternatives to prison in the event a sentence is imposed. These include community service, house arrest, a monetary fine, a suspended sentence, a work furlough, and placement in a drug rehabilitation center. With our extensive trial experience in civil and commercial cases, we give our clients the ability to litigate in both state and federal courts secure in the knowledge that we can see the case through to trial and beyond. Our federal insolvency practice, led by the former United States Trustee for five Judicial Districts, including all of Southern California and Hawaii, gives our clients the ability to litigate matters in Federal Bankruptcy Court with enhanced proficiency and credibility. We provide insolvency-related services in the areas of creditors' rights, non-dischargeability and revocation actions, fraudulent transfer and preference litigation, and all other adversarial or contested matters that call for an extra level of excellence.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC") has retained Bienert, Miller & Katzman, PLC as one of three law firms nationwide selected to audit and investigate fraudulent loans made by a national lending institution, resulting in the largest failure and FDIC receivership in banking history. The firm, as approved FDIC counsel, is assisting in the investigation, pursuit and litigation of fraud related claims arising from hundreds of millions of dollars in losses from toxic loans. Bienert, Miller and Katzman is uniquely qualified to investigate and pursue these claims, given the firm's extensive experience in criminal, litigation and bankruptcy matters. Additionally, the firm's staff includes expert loan underwriting, mortgage fraud and real estate litigation personnel capable of investigating the most complex and systematic mortgage and real estate loan fraud schemes. Bienert, Miller & Katzman is excited about the opportunity to make a difference to the public and economy at large through its efforts on behalf of the FDIC.

Thomas H. Bienert is the current Treasurer of the Orange County Bar Association for 2012-13. Steven J. Katzman is the current President of the Orange County Bankruptcy Forum for 2011-12. Kenneth M. Miller is a Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference for 2011-13.

Areas of Law:
-White Collar Criminal Defense
-Civil Litigation
-Insolvency
-Bankruptcy Litigation
-Commercial Litigation
-Arbitrations.
-Appellate Practice
-Intellectual Practice
-E-Commerce
-Internet Law
-Unfair Competition
Main Office

Main Office
903 Calle Amanecer, Suite 350
San Clemente  CA  92673

Phone
  • 949-369-3700
Fax
  • 949-369-3701
Criminal Defense
Our firm is a leader in complex federal white-collar criminal litigation.
Our attorneys have handled cases in a wide variety of areas, including: Accounting Fraud, Bank Fraud, Bankruptcy Fraud, Bribery, Computer Crimes, Counterfeiting, Credit Card Fraud, Embezzlement, Environmental Offenses, Extortion, Forgery, Import-Export Offenses, Insider Trading, Internet Fraud, Medicaid/Medicare Fraud, Money Laundering, Mortgage Fraud, Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes, Procurement Fraud, Public Corruption, Racketeering/RICO, Tax Evasion, Tax Fraud, Email Intercepting, Health Care Fraud, Identity Fraud, Insurance Fraud, Investment Fraud, Securities Fraud, Telemarketing Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Witness Tampering. In addition to vigorously defending our clients during the investigation and trial stages of a case, we are experienced in identifying alternatives to prison in the event a sentence is imposed. These include community service, house arrest, a monetary fine, a suspended sentence, a work furlough, and placement in a drug rehabilitation center.

Thomas H. Bienert, Jr.

Attorney in San Clemente, CA
Thomas H. Bienert, Jr. has been elected by members of the Orange County Bar Association to serve as the OCBA's Secretary for 2011. Mr. Bienert also has been named Orange County's "White-Collar Lawyer of the Year" for 2011 by Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A former Chief of the Orange County Office of the United States Attorney, Mr. Bienert specializes in white-collar criminal defense and complex civil litigation matters, representing both individuals and corporations in state and federal courts. In addition to his service with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Orange County, Mr. Bienert served as Chief of Criminal Complaints in the U.S. Attorney's Los Angeles Office and as Associate Independent Counsel in Washington, D.C., and practiced with Irell & Manella and Phelps Dunbar. Mr. Bienert is a highly experienced trial attorney. His cases involve a wide variety of criminal and civil matters, including all types of fraud, civil rights violations, environmental crimes, health-care matters, public corruption, money laundering, contract disputes, copyright infringement, civil environmental matters, false advertising, trade secret violations, unfair competition and wrongful termination. He has worked on a number of high-profile matters, including the Independent Counsel investigation of President Clinton, the Orange County bankruptcy, the UCI fertility clinic matter, the Reginald Denny beating case during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and the "Operation Big Spender" corruption investigation of L.A. Sheriff's Department deputies. His most recent trials have included multi-million dollar civil verdicts and, in criminal matters, the acquittal of his physician client after a two-month Medicare fraud trial and a mistrial for his client in the Peregrine Systems criminal financial fraud trial. An honors graduate of Tulane University School of Law, where he was an editor of the Law Review and a member of the Order of Barristers, Mr. Bienert has been an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School and a frequent lecturer on legal issues. He is a former Lawyer Delegate to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and has been recognized as one of the "Top 50 Lawyers in Orange County" by Super Lawyers magazine.

Areas of Law:
-White Collar Criminal Defense
-Civil Trial
-Appellate Practice
-Civil Litigation

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Senior Partner

Admission Details:
-Admitted in 1986, Louisiana
-1989, California

Law School Attended:
Tulane University
Class of 1986
J.D.

University Attended:
Louisiana State University
Class of 1983
B.A.

Birth Information:
Born in 1961
Laguna Beach, California, March 20, 1961

Special Agencies:
Former Chief of the Orange County Office of the U.S. Attorney; Chief of Criminal Complaints in the Los Angeles Office of the U.S. Attorney; Associate Independent Counsel in Washington, D.C.; Former Lawyer Delegate to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.

Associations & Memberships:
Orange County Bar Association (Secretary, 2011); Louisiana State Bar Association; Federal Bar Association; American Bar Association.

Bar Fellowship:
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Banyard Inn of Court.
Education
  • Tulane University
    Juris Doctorate , 1986
  • Tulane University
    Juris Doctorate , 1986

Kenneth M. Miller

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Having practiced at the Federal Public Defenders' Office and civil law firms, Ken Miller focuses his practice on criminal and civil cases in federal and state courts, including criminal and civil RICO, fraud and forfeiture, FCPA, money laundering, civil rights, habeas corpus, breach of contract, and code enforcement. Kenneth Miller was selected as a Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference for 2011-2013. Kenneth M. Miller was named by Southern California Super Lawyers magazine as one of the top White Collar Criminal Defense Attorneys in Southern California for 2010. In addition to his service with the Federal Public Defenders' Office, Mr. Miller practiced with the law firms of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker; Silver, Shaeffer & Hadden; and Steward & Miller. Mr. Miller has handled numerous federal jury trials, both civil and criminal, and over twenty-five oral arguments before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He has obtained favorable results in many criminal and civil cases, including substantially reduced sentences for many clients and numerous reversals in federal courts of appeals. Representative cases include: Defense of $100 million fraud case brought by the SEC and parallel criminal proceedings to earn a favorable settlement; Defense of individual convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life, where conviction was vacated and case was eventually dismissed; Defense of individual where sentence was reversed and later halved; Defense of individual where voluntary manslaughter conviction was reversed; Favorable settlement for former City Manager who was terminated in violation of his right to freedom of speech. After graduating from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, Order of the Coif, where he was an editor of the Law Review, Mr. Miller clerked for the Honorable Roger D. Foley, Senior U.S. District Judge. He is an author and lecturer on various aspects of criminal law. Kenneth Miller has been selected as a Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference for 2011-2012.

Areas of Law:
-White Collar Criminal Defense
-Appellate Practice
-Civil Litigation

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Partner

Admission Details:
Admitted in 1990, California

Law School Attended:
Loyola Marymount University
Class of 1990
J.D.

University Attended:
University of Texas at Austin
Class of 1986
B.A.

Birth Information:
Born in 1963
Palmdale, California, November 28, 1963

Associations & Memberships:
Orange County, Federal and American Bar Associations; National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Warren J. Ferguson Inn of Court.
Education
  • Loyola Marymount University
    Juris Doctorate , 1990
  • Loyola Marymount University
    Juris Doctorate , 1990

Steven J. Katzman

Attorney in San Clemente, CA
Steve Katzman specializes in complex insolvency, federal and commercial litigation. Because of his varied and significant background, Mr. Katzman offers unique, unparalleled trial, bankruptcy and complex litigation experience to the clients he serves. The Orange County Bankruptcy Forum Executive Board recently elected Steven J. Katzman as the new Vice-President for 2010-2011. From May, 2003 to March, 2008, Mr. Katzman was appointed as the United States Trustee for Southern District of California, the Districts of Hawaii, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. From November, 2003 until August, 2006, Mr. Katzman was also appointed as United States Trustee for the Central District of California. During his tenure as United States Trustee, Mr. Katzman was responsible for oversight of over 100,000 bankruptcy cases filed annually, including: the reorganization of two operational airlines; a resort property valued at 500 million dollars with over 2 billion dollars in unsecured debt; a national distributor of vitamins and mineral supplements; the examiner appointment in a chain of movie theaters; the appointment of a Chapter 11 trustee in a multi-million dollar ponzi scheme; and the bankruptcy case of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego. Mr. Katzman also served as the Chair of a national United States Trustee Program group investigating and pursuing litigation strategies to redress creditor abuses of the bankruptcy system. Mr. Katzman served for eight years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. From 1991 through 1996 he prosecuted bankruptcy fraud and related crimes, including mail fraud, wire fraud, and bank fraud, with the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California. From 1996 through 1999, he established and managed a new office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, in Youngstown. During his tenure as an Assistant United States Attorney, Mr. Katzman pursued numerous trials and appeals, including the prosecution of attorneys, accountants, and corporate officers for embezzlement, concealment of assets and tax offenses, complex bank and mail fraud cases, a highly publicized interstate telemarketing fraud, a multi-million dollar counterfeit conspiracy, and death threats to a federal bankruptcy judge. Before his appointment as U.S. Trustee, Mr. Katzman was senior insolvency and federal litigation counsel for the Orange County, Calif., law firm of Albert, Weiland & Golden LLP. Prior to his service with the U.S. Attorneys' offices, Mr. Katzman was an associate with the Newport Beach, Calif., office of Buchalter, Nemer, Fields & Younger, and a law clerk for Bankruptcy Judge John E. Ryan in the Central District of California. Mr. Katzman has been a frequent speaker at many national and regional legal associations, including the American Bankruptcy Institute, the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, the California, Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire and San Diego Bankruptcy Forums, the California State Bar, and the Federal Bar Association. Additionally, Mr. Katzman has lectured on numerous occasions at the Justice Department's national training facilities.

Areas of Law:
-Insolvency
-Commercial Litigation
-Bankruptcy Litigation

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Partner

Admission Details:
Admitted in 1987, California

Law School Attended:
University of California at Davis
Class of 1987
J.D.

University Attended:
University of California at Santa Cruz
Class of 1984
B.A.

Birth Information:
Born in 1962
New York, N.Y., July 3, 1962

Special Agencies:
Mr. Katzman served for eight years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Associations & Memberships:
Orange County Bar Association (Member, Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section); State Bar of California; Orange County Bankruptcy Forum.
Education
  • University of California at Davis
    Juris Doctorate , 1987
  • University of California at Davis
    Juris Doctorate , 1987

Michael R. Williams

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Michael R. Williams is a business litigator who handles cases involving a wide range of legal issues, including commercial contract and real estate disputes, business torts, trade secrets, professional negligence, employment discrimination, and insurance recovery. He has substantial experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in all aspects of state and federal litigation, as well as in arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Mike has been voted a "rising star" among Southern California litigators in a survey published by Los Angeles Magazine.

Mike serves on the Boards of Directors of the Public Law Center and University of California, Davis School of Law Alumni Association. He also is an active member of the Orange County Bar Association, including most recently serving as the Chair of the OCBA's Business Litigation Section in 2007.

Mike graduated in the top 5% of his class from the University of California, Davis School of Law, where he was an Executive Editor of the UC Davis Law Review and was admitted to the Order of the Coif. He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from California State University, Northridge. Prior to joining Bienert, Miller & Katzman, Mike practiced in the litigation group of Irell & Manella LLP and Connor, Fletcher & Williams.

Areas of Law:
-Complex Business Litigation
-Employment Litigation
-Insurance Bad Faith
-Legal Malpractice
-Trade Secret Misappropriation

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Partner

Admission Details:
Admitted in 1997, California

Law School Attended:
University of California, Davis
Class of 1997
J.D.

University Attended:
California State University, Northridge
Class of 1994
B.A.
Political Science

Associations & Memberships:
Orange County Bar Association (Chair, Business Litigation Section, 2007).

Representative Transactions:
Prosecution of breach of contract and fraud claims on behalf of a group of entrepreneurs and privately-held companies in the automotive accessories business. Mike's clients were awarded a $55 million judgment following a six-week bench trial; Defense of business tort claims on behalf of a major Southern California land developer and one of the nation's largest waste disposal companies. All claims against both clients were dismissed under California's anti-SLAPP statute; Defense of an international pharmaceutical company against anti-trust claims brought on behalf of a class of California consumers. All claims against Mike's client were dismissed on summary judgment; Defense of a private equity firm and its principals in a series of arbitration and litigation proceedings in which Mike's clients were alleged to have misappropriated trade secrets and breached fiduciary duties in connection with a portfolio investment. After defeating the plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction and obtaining a series of favorable rulings on key issues, Mike's clients entered into a highly favorable settlement; Prosecution of bad faith claims against insurance companies on behalf of clients in the property management, food products, cement manufacturing, and real estate development industries. In each case, Mike's client received a multi-million dollar settlement.
Education
  • University of California, Davis
    Juris Doctorate , 1997
  • University of California, Davis
    Juris Doctorate , 1997

James D. Riddet

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers 2006. Named in The Best Lawyers in America, 1988-2004. Member, U.S. District Court Biden Bill Committee. Member, U.S. District Court Standing Committee on Discipline. Master Bencher and Member, Executive Committee, American Inns of Court. Lawyer Delegate, Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, 1988-1991; Co-Chairman, 1999-2000.

Areas of Law:
Criminal Law

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Of Counsel

Birth Information:
Born in 1941
Oak Park, Illinois, April 19, 1941

Certifications:
(Certified Specialist, Criminal Law, The State Bar of California Board Of Legal Specialization)

Bar Fellowship:
American College of Trial Lawyers 2006. Named in The Best Lawyers in America, 1988-2004. Member, U.S. District Court Biden Bill Committee. Member, U.S. District Court Standing Committee on Discipline. Master Bencher and Member, Executive Committee, American Inns of Court. Lawyer Delegate, Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, 1988-1991; Co-Chairman, 1999-2000. Member: Orange County Bar Association (Member, Board of Directors; Chair, Judiciary Committee); State Bar of California; California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (Member, Board of Governors, 1988-1991; Second Term, 1991-1994); Association of Specialized Criminal Defense Advocates (Secretary, 1975-1979); National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Co-Chairman, 1991 Annual Convention).

Ariana Seldman Hawbecker

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Ms. Hawbecker specializes in business litigation and criminal defense. Her civil litigation experience includes representing clients in Federal and State court and arbitration proceedings in the areas of copyright, trademark, trade secret, real estate, employment, and general commercial litigation. Ms. Hawbecker is also a former Deputy District Attorney for the County of Humboldt. Prior to joining Bienert, Miller & Katzman, Ms. Hawbecker was associated with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Donahue Gallagher Woods LLP in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Senior Counsel

Admission Details:
Admitted in 1997, California

Law School Attended:
University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law
Class of 1997
J.D.

University Attended:
Georgetown University
Class of 1991
B.S.F.S.

Languages:
Spanish.
Education
  • University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1997
  • University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1997

Karen Poston Miller

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Karen joined the firm in January 2007. She began her career in the Los Angeles office of McKenna & Cuneo where she practiced for six years, focusing primarily on government contracts claims and litigation. Her work included international arbitrations for clients such as Hughes Aircraft Co. and Teledyne involving complex technical issues as well as the legal analysis to support the recoverability of the associated costs. In 1996, Ms. Miller joined her husband, Kenneth M. Miller in his practice where the focus was federal criminal defense and civil litigation.

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Associate

Admission Details:
Admitted in 1990, California
1991, District of Columbia (Inactive)

Law School Attended:
Loyola Law School
Class of 1990
J.D.

University Attended:
San Diego State University
Class of 1986
B.S.
Education
  • Loyola Law School
    Juris Doctorate , 1990
  • Loyola Law School
    Juris Doctorate , 1990

Anthony Bisconti

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Deans Honor List, 2007-2009. Member, St. Thomas More Honor Society, 2007-2009. Best Student Article, Loyola Law Review 2008-2009. First Honors (Torts II). Recipient, Fritz B. Burns Scholarship.

Areas of Law:
-Bankruptcy
-Litigation

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Associate

Admission Details:
Admitted in 2009, California
2010, New York

Law School Attended:
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
Class of 2009
J.D.

Associations & Memberships:
Orange County, Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Bar Associations.

Bar Fellowship:
American Bankruptcy Institute.

Hobbies & Interests:
Technology, Camping, Crossfit, and cooking.
Education
  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
    Juris Doctorate , 2009
  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
    Juris Doctorate , 2009

Ms. Anne A. Uyeda

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Anne Uyeda specializes in business litigation and complex civil litigation matters. Her litigation experience includes representing public companies, counties, insurance companies and brokers, and general partnerships in contract disputes, shareholder derivative actions, bankruptcy matters, complex securities actions, and insurance bad faith actions. Ms. Uyeda earned her law degree in 2004 from UCLA. While in law school, Ms. Uyeda received the Blanche H. Lyle Scholarship and the Distinguished Pro Bono Student Award. In 2001, she graduated cum laude from U.C. Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and was elected as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Prior to joining Bienert, Miller & Katzman, Ms. Uyeda practiced with Musick, Peeler & Garrett in Los Angeles, and with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Orange County.

Areas of Law:
-Complex and Multi-District Litigation
-Civil Litigation
-Complex Litigation
-White Collar Criminal Defense

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Associate

Admission Details:
Admitted in 2004, California

Law School Attended:
University of California, Los Angeles
Class of 2004
J.D.

University Attended:
University of California, Irvine
Class of 2001
B.A.
cum laude

Associations & Memberships:
Orange County Bar Association; Japanese American Bar Association; Friends of Read Orange County (Board Member and Secretary).
Education
  • University of California, Los Angeles
    Juris Doctorate , 2004
  • University of California, Los Angeles
    Juris Doctorate , 2004

Ali Matin

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Areas of Law:
-Bankruptcy
-Litigation

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Associate

Admission Details:
Admitted in 2009, California

Law School Attended:
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
Class of 2009
J.D.

University Attended:
University of California, Irvine
Class of 2005
B.A.

Birth Information:
Born in 1983
January 11, 1983

Associations & Memberships:
American Bankruptcy Institute; Orange County Bankruptcy Forum.
Education
  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
    Juris Doctorate , 2009
  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
    Juris Doctorate , 2009

Eryk Escobar

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Areas of Law:
-Bankruptcy
-Litigation

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Associate

Admission Details:
Admitted in 2011, California

Law School Attended:
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
J.D. 2011

University Attended:
University of California, Berkeley
Class of 2008
B.A.

Birth Information:
Born in 1986
1986

Associations & Memberships:
American Bankruptcy Institute; Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association.
Education
  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
    Juris Doctorate , 2011
  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
    Juris Doctorate , 2011
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