Staff

Executive Bios
Editor Bios

Executive Bios

Chris Braun, President

Chris Braun came to Nolo as General Manager in 2012. Before joining Nolo, he was with ALM where was the Managing Director at lawjobs.com, and Publisher for The Recorder. Chris holds an MBA from MIT and a BA from University of Massachusetts - Amherst.

Mary Randolph, Editor-in-Chief

Mary Randolph directs the editorial content of Nolo's website, eProducts, and print products. She is also the author or coauthor of several Nolo titles, including the Quicken WillMaker legal manual, The Executor's Guide, 8 Ways to Avoid Probate, and others. She has also edited many Nolo books. Randolph earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois and a law degree from Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall) at the University of California-Berkeley.

Jonathan Rochez, Vice President, Engineering

Jonathan Rochez joined Nolo in 2011 and leads the engineering team. Before coming to Nolo, he was the VP of Engineering at Pixsense, a start-up company that focused on mobile applications. Jonathan holds an MS in applied science engineering from University of California-Davis and a BS in chemical engineering from University of California-San Diego.

Editor Bios

Ilona Bray, J.D.

Ilona Bray is an author and legal editor at Nolo, specializing in real estate, immigration law, and nonprofit fundraising. She is a coauthor of Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home and also edits a number of Nolo's small business books. Ilona's working background includes solo practice, nonprofit, and corporate stints, as well as long periods of volunteering, including an internship at Amnesty International's main legal office in London. She received her law degree and a Masters degree in East Asian (Chinese) Studies from the University of Washington.

Diana Fitzpatrick, J.D.

Diana Fitzpatrick specializes in small business, tax, and nonprofit law. Before joining Nolo, she was a deputy attorney at the San Francisco City Attorney's Office in the bond department. She also worked for several years in New York City at a law firm, doing corporate and securities work. Diana is a graduate of Barnard College and received her law degree from New York University School of Law.

David Goguen, J.D.

David Goguen is a legal editor at Nolo, focusing on claimants' rights in personal injury cases. He is a member of the California State Bar with over a decade of experience in litigation and legal publishing. David is a graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law.

Lisa Guerin, J.D.

Lisa Guerin, an editor/author specializing in employment law, is author or coauthor of several Nolo books, including The Manager's Legal Handbook, Dealing with Problem Employees, Nolo's Essential Guide to Federal Employment Laws, The Essential Guide to Workplace Investigations, Create Your Own Employee Handbook, and Nolo's Guide to California Law. Lisa has practiced employment law in government, public interest, and private practice where she represented clients at all levels of state and federal courts and in agency proceedings. She is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.

Lina Guillen, Attorney

Lina Guillen joined Nolo as a legal editor in 2012. Specializing in family law, Lina writes and edits articles on a variety of topics including custody, visitation, support, and the financial aspects of divorce. Before arriving at Nolo, Lina practiced family law and civil litigation at several law firms in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lina received her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and is an active member of the California State Bar.

Bethany K. Laurence, J.D.

Bethany Laurence joined Nolo as a legal editor in 1997. She holds a law degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law, a B.A. degree from Boston University (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude), and is a member of the California State Bar. She has combined her legal and financial expertise to edit many Nolo small business books and online software applications over the years. She is a coauthor of Business Buyout Agreements: Plan Now for Retirement, Death, Divorce or Owner Disagreements, Save Your Small Business: 10 Crucial Strategies to Survive Hard Times or Close Down & Move On, and most recently, Bankruptcy for Small Business Owners: How to File for Chapter 7. Beth also blogs on small business strategies and legal information for business owners on Nolo's Small Business Legal Blog. Before joining Nolo, Beth created legal online and CD-ROM products at CCH, Inc. (a division of Wolters Klewer, Inc.). Over the last decade she has been active on the board of directors of several local environmental and educational nonprofit organizations.

Kathleen Michon, J.D.

Kathleen is the legal editor for Nolo's bankruptcy, debt, and credit repair books and online content. Before joining Nolo's editorial staff, she was the Directing Attorney of Public Counsel's Consumer Rights Project. Her legal experience also includes representing inmates on death row and mediating Small Claims Court cases. She currently serves as a volunteer arbitrator for the BBB Auto Line lemon law program. she received a B.A. from Yale University and a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.

Janet Portman, Attorney

As Nolo's managing editor, Janet Portman oversees editorial work on all Nolo books. She specializes in residential and commercial landlord/tenant law, legal issues related to courts, landlords and tenants, and neighbor disputes. She is the author or coauthor of Every Landlord's Legal Guide, Every Landlord's Guide to Finding Great Tenants , Every Tenant's Legal Guide, Renters' Rights, Negotiate the Best Lease for Your Business, Leases & Rental Agreements, The California Landlord's Law Book: Rights and Responsibilities, and California Tenants' Rights. A nationally syndicated columnist with Inman News, Portman's column, "Rent It Right," appears regularly in the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and other prominent newspapers and websites. Portman received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Stanford University and a law degree from Santa Clara University. Before joining Nolo in 1994, she practiced law as a public defender.

Micah Schwartzbach, Attorney

Micah Schwartzbach joined Nolo’s editorial staff in 2013. Before that he was a criminal defense lawyer specializing in research and writing, first in Berkeley, then in Marin County. In 2008 he served as co-counsel in the landmark acquittal of an organ transplant surgeon accused of attempting to accelerate a potential organ donor’s death. (People v. Roozrokh, San Luis Obispo Superior Court Case No. F405885.) He writes and edits content across a range of practice areas. He also authors Uncuffed: A Candid Take on Crime and Society, a blog that dissects the world of criminal law. Micah earned his B.A. from the University of California, Davis, where he graduated with highest honors, and his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where he graduated cum laude.

Betsy Simmons Hannibal, Attorney

Betsy Simmons Hannibal specializes in estate planning books and software. Before joining Nolo, she trained at two private law firms as well as the San Francisco Superior Court and the Federal District Court of Northern California. She is a graduate of the Honors Lawyering Program at Golden Gate University School of Law, where she served as the research editor of the law review. Before law school, Betsy worked as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Oakland, as a data analyst in San Francisco, and as an English teacher in Ecuador.

Marcia Stewart

Marcia Stewart has been a Nolo editor and author since 1989, writing and editing books on landlord-tenant law, real estate, and other consumer issues. In addition to working on books and software, Marcia is an acquisitions editor and responsible for acquiring and developing new products for Nolo, including trade books and books with special sales and licensing potential. She is a coauthor of Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home, Every Landlord's Legal Guide, Every Tenant's Legal Guide, Leases and Rental Agreements, and Renters' Rights. She has edited dozens of Nolo books, including How to Buy a House in California.

Richard Stim, Attorney

Attorney Richard Stim specializes in small business, copyright, patents, and trademark issues at Nolo and answers questions on all these topics at his Dear Rich blog. He practices law in San Francisco and has represented photographers, software developers, craftspeople, publishers, musicians, and toy designers. He is the author of many books, including Running a Side Business, Music Law, and Profit From Your Idea. Rich also produces audiobooks, such as Nolo's Crash Course in Small Business Basics, and performs and records with two bands, MX-80 and angel corpus christi.

Stephen Stine, J.D.

As a research specialist and editor at Nolo, Stephen conducts legal research and writes and edits content for Nolo's books and websites. Previously, Stephen worked at the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center, where he assisted attorneys with technology, performed research, and wrote and edited articles, blog posts, and the annual ABA Legal Technology Survey Report. Stephen earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and J.D. and Master of Science in Information degrees from the University of Michigan.

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