Bienert | Katzman PC

Bienert | Katzman PC

Law Firm in San Clemente, CA

Firm Overview

Bienert | Katzman is one of Southern California's top trial boutique firms. We have litigated more than 100 complex trials and dozens of appeals in multiple jurisdictions throughout the United States. Our attorneys include the former Chief of the Orange County office of the United States attorney, the former Chief of the Los Angeles Trial Unit for the Federal Public Defender's Office, former federal prosecutors and federal public defenders, a former United States Trustee, a former Deputy District Attorney, several former federal law clerks, and attorneys who previously practiced at large, international law firms. Bienert | Katzman attorneys have been recognized as among the best in our practice areas by U.S. News and World Report, Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers. Our firm is a leader in complex federal white-collar criminal investigations and litigation. In our civil practice, we have obtained both multi-million dollar plaintiff and zero-dollar defense verdicts, as well as a number of successful asset recovery investigations, judgments and collections, with results often surpassing the tens of millions of dollars. We are also an approved specialty counsel firm for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, representing it in a number of large commercial litigation matters throughout the United States. Led by the former United States Trustee for five Judicial Districts, our federal insolvency practice provides insolvency-related services in creditors' rights, non-dischargeability and revocation actions, fraudulent transfer and preference litigation, and all other complex adversarial or contested matters. Our preparation, dedication, and focus help us achieve successful and cost-effective results for our clients. As a small firm, we provide efficient, personalized attention. Every member of the firm is dedicated to thinking creatively and working aggressively to solve our clients' problems. Areas of Law: -White Collar Criminal Defense -Complex Civil Litigation -Bankruptcy and Restructuring -Last Minute Trials -Whistleblower Claims -Internal Investigations -Appeals

Main Office

Main Office
903 Calle Amanecer, Suite 350

San Clemente CA 92673

Phone

949-369-3700

Fax

949-369-3701

Fees

Office Information

Criminal Defense

Bienert | Katzman is one of Southern California's top trial boutique firms. We have litigated more than 100 complex trials and dozens of appeals in multiple jurisdictions throughout the United States.

Our firm is a leader in complex federal white-collar criminal investigations and litigation. In our civil practice, we have obtained both multi-million dollar plaintiff and zero-dollar defense verdicts, as well as a number of successful asset recovery investigations, judgments and collections, with results often surpassing the tens of millions of dollars. We are also an approved specialty counsel firm for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, representing it in a number of large commercial litigation matters throughout the United States. Led by the former United States Trustee for five Judicial Districts, our federal insolvency practice provides insolvency-related services in creditors' rights, non-dischargeability and revocation actions, fraudulent transfer and preference litigation, and all other complex adversarial or contested matters.

What are your firm's strengths and style?

Our preparation, dedication, and focus help us achieve successful and cost-effective results for our clients. As a small firm, we provide efficient, personalized attention. Every member of the firm is dedicated to thinking creatively and working aggressively to solve our clients' problems.

Thomas H. Bienert, Jr.

Bienert | Katzman PC

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Thomas H. Bienert, Jr. is widely recognized as one of the nation's best trial attorneys. After spending ten years as a federal prosecutor and two years at a national law firm, Tom founded Bienert | Katzman in 2000 and steadily grew the firm to its current size through the addition of other trial attorneys. Since starting the firm, he has obtained many multi-million dollar verdicts for plaintiffs in civil cases, complete defense verdicts, and numerous non-prosecutions, dismissals, and defense verdicts representing clients in white-collar criminal matters. In his career, he has served as lead counsel on hundreds of trials and significant evidentiary hearings, including several trials lasting many months, and has the rare honor of being recognized by leading organizations as a top trial attorney in both civil and criminal matters.

Tom has been AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell since 2002. He has been a Super Lawyers honoree every year since 2006, has been selected to the Best Lawyers list every year since 2009, and has been recognized as one of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers every year since 2011. Tom was named Orange County White-Collar Lawyer of the Year for 2011 by Best Lawyers, and is recognized repeatedly as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Orange County by Super Lawyers. Tom has been selected among America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award by America's Top 100 Attorneys, and has been recognized as one of America's Top 100 Civil Defense Litigators for Southern California.

Tom's cases have involved a wide variety of criminal and civil subject areas, including business disputes, civil rights violations, class actions, contract disputes, copyright infringement, defense contractor issues, environmental offenses, estate plan litigation, false advertising, fraud in many contexts, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA"), health-care, money laundering, personal injury, public corruption, securities litigation, trade secret violations, unfair competition, whistleblower actions and wrongful termination.

As a prosecutor, Tom served as Chief of the Orange County Office of the United States Attorney, Chief of Criminal Complaints in the U.S. Attorney's Los Angeles Office, and as Associate Independent Counsel in Washington, D.C. During his decade as a government lawyer, he 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. Before starting Bienert | Katzman, Tom worked in the private sector at Irell & Manella.

Tom is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, and a member of the Orange County Bar Judiciary Committee. He is also a former board member of the Orange County Criminal Defense Bar Association, the Orange County Bar Association ("OCBA"), and the Constitutional Rights Foundation. Tom served as President of the OCBA from 2014-2015. Tom has also served as a Lawyer Delegate to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.

Tom attended Tulane University School of Law, where he was an honors graduate, an editor of the Law Review, and a member of the Order of Barristers. He has also been an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School and a frequent lecturer on legal issues.

Areas of Law:
-White Collar Criminal Defense
-Internal Investigations
-Complex Civil Litigation
-Appels
-Whistleblower Claims
-Last Minute Trials

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

Steven J. Katzman

Bienert | Katzman PC

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Steven J. Katzman's unique and accomplished background includes over three decades of experience in both government service and private practice. A former United States Trustee for five federal judicial districts and federal prosecutor, Steven offers unparalleled trial, bankruptcy and complex litigation experience, specializing in complex insolvency, federal and commercial litigation.

Steven was appointed as the U.S. Trustee for the Districts of Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Southern District of California and, from November 2003 until August 2006, the Central District of California, where he was responsible for oversight of over 100,000 bankruptcy cases filed annually. From 1991 through 1996, Steven also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, where he prosecuted bankruptcy fraud and related crimes, including mail fraud, wire fraud, and bank fraud. 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 a prosecutor, Steven 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 and death threats to a federal bankruptcy judge.

In private practice, Steven was senior insolvency and federal litigation counsel for the Orange County, Calif., law firm of Albert, Weiland & Golden LLP. Prior to that, he 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.

A recognized expert in his field of practice, Steven has also been designated as an expert witness in several cases, including both a federal government agency and the California State Bar.

Steven has been recognized in his field of practice by both Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers, and was selected by Best Lawyers as 2013 Lawyer of the Year in the practice of Litigation-Bankruptcy in Orange County, California. He has served as the President of the Orange County Bankruptcy Forum, Conference Co-Chair of the California Bankruptcy Forum, and 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 State Bar, and the Justice Department's national training facilities.

Academically, Steven received his law degree from the University of California - Davis, and his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of California - Santa Cruz. In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, skiing, yoga, adventure travel, charity work and teaching cycle classes.

Areas of Law:
-White Collar Criminal Defense
-Internal Investigations
-Complex Civil Litigation
-Appeals
-Bankruptcy and Restructuring
-Whistleblower Claims
-Last Minute Trials

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

Michael R. Williams

Bienert | Katzman PC

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Michael R. Williams is a trial lawyer with twenty years of experience in all aspects of complex business litigation. His main practice areas include insurance coverage and bad faith, corporate governance and partnership disputes, contract and business tort claims, trade secret misappropriation, environmental, and employment litigation. He has substantial first-chair experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in trials, arbitrations, and appeals.

Mike's clients include Fortune 500 companies, technology start-ups, closely-held businesses, and high net-worth individuals. Mike is proud to serve as the lawyer of choice for many of his colleagues in the legal profession, who rely on his judgment and experience when they find themselves embroiled in legal disputes.

Beyond his courtroom success, Mike's best results often occur behind the scenes, where his strategic advice and counsel allow his clients to avoid litigation altogether or settle on favorable terms before a lawsuit is filed.

Mike's outstanding results for his clients have earned him recognition as one of Orange County's top attorneys in OC Metro Magazine and a perfect 10 out of 10 rating from Avvo.com. He was named as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2005, 2006, and 2011, and was selected to the Southern California Super Lawyers list in 2019.

Throughout his career, Mike has played key leadership roles in the Orange County legal community, including serving as President of the Public Law Center's Board of Directors in 2012 and 2013 and Chair of the Orange County Bar Association's Business Litigation Section in 2007. Mike is presently a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Orange County Bar Foundation, and previously served on the board of the UC Davis School of Law Alumni Association.

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. Mike received his undergraduate degree in political science from California State University Northridge.

Areas of Law:
-White Collar Criminal Defense
-Internal Investigations
-Complex Civil Litigation
-Appeals
-Whistleblower Claims
-Last Minute Trials

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:
- A $280 million settlement in a qui tam action under the False Claims Act, the second largest settlement ever in a non-intervened qui tam case, on behalf of a whistleblower in the pharmaceuticals industry.

- A $55 million judgment following a six-week trial in a fraud and breach of contract action on behalf of entrepreneurs in the automotive accessories industry.

- Dismissal on the eve of trial of a $600 million legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and RICO case on behalf of a prominent estate planning attorney.

- More than $10 million in recoveries in a series of specialized insurance coverage cases on behalf of leading technology companies.

- Dismissal of multi-million dollar breach of contract claims on behalf of a high-profile Orange County technology entrepreneur, followed by an attorneys' fee award of nearly $1 million against the plaintiff.

- Dismissal of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and RICO claims on behalf of two of Orange County's leading businessmen and philanthropists under California's Anti-SLAPP statute.

- A judgment of nearly $6 million on behalf of a federal agency in a case stemming from the 2008 economic collapse.

- Dismissal on summary judgment of state and federal anti-trust claims on behalf of a generic drug manufacturer.

Education

University of California, Davis
Juris Doctorate, 1997

James D. Riddet

Bienert | Katzman PC

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Jim Riddet has over 50 years of experience in defending criminal cases in state and federal court, and has tried nearly 100 cases to jury. For the past 35 years, the emphasis of his practice has been defending individuals charged in Federal Court. Over the years, he has represented individuals who are either charged with federal offenses or are under investigation by a federal agency such as the FBI, SEC, DEA, IRS, and the United States Secret Service. Jim deals repeatedly with members of the United States Attorney's Office in Orange County and in Los Angeles and has also handled federal cases in San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno, San Diego, Riverside and outside of California in New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Seattle and other major cities.

One of his notable clients was the son of a high official in the British government, and when he replaced the son's prior lawyer, the local newspaper reported that the client "replaces his first attorney with a high powered veteran..." Representative of how clients feel about Jim's representation is the following from a recent client: "Honestly I would have to say that the past two years have been the toughest and most stressful years of my life due to my pending criminal case and everything that comes along with it. But the one thing that I can be thankful for is having Mr. Riddet as my attorney... He is top class and is the best at what he does."

In addition to practicing extensively in the Federal Courts, Jim has been an active member of many Federal Court committees having been appointed by the Chief Judge to serve on such committees as the Magistrate's Selection Committee and the Disciplinary Committee. In addition, when the Federal Court in Los Angeles established a branch court in Santa Ana, Jim was asked by the Chief Judge to chair a new indigent panel, which involved selection and training of lawyers to be on the panel. He has also been selected by members of the federal judiciary to be an Attorney Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, and has served as co-chair of the attorney delegation. In addition to being active in Federal Court committees, Jim has served on the Board of Directors for the Federal Bar Association, Orange County Bar Association, and California Attorneys for Criminal Justice.

Jim has been selected as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, which is an organization which has the highest criteria for membership. The College's criteria for membership states that fellowship to the College "is only extended by invitation, after careful investigation, to those experienced lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality." The College operates under a rule that there can never be more than 1% of the total population of attorneys in any state or province. He also has been invited to be a member of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, an organization of the top criminal defense lawyers in the United States. He is also a California State Bar Criminal Law certified specialist.

Every year since 1987, Jim has been selected for listing in the Best Lawyers of America, which selects lawyers on the basis of peer review. In addition, every year since 2004, Jim has been selected to the Super Lawyers list. He has also been selected by Los Angeles Magazine as a Super Lawyer and selected as one of the top 50 lawyers in Orange County. In 2018, Jim was named as one of "America's Top 100" Criminal Defense Attorneys for Southern California.

Jim has also been a guest speaker to various organizations and colleges including St. John's Law School, where he spoke to the students with the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals.

Areas of Law:
-White Collar Criminal Defense
-Internal Investigations
-Complex Civil Litigation
-Appeals
-Whistleblower

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

Bienert | Katzman PC

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Ariana Seldman Hawbecker has handled a variety of civil disputes in federal and state courts and in alternative dispute resolution forums, including FINRA. Ariana has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in complex business and real estate disputes, qui tam "whistleblower" actions, personal injury cases, and copyright, trademark and trade secret disputes.

Ariana's criminal defense experience includes representing witnesses in state and federal criminal investigations and investigations involving a variety of governmental bodies, including the IRS and the SEC. She has also represented witnesses and individuals under investigation or charged with a variety of crimes, including general, securities, and healthcare fraud, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Economic Espionage Act, and tax crimes.

Ariana is a member of the Women's White Collar Defense Association, an international organization of female white collar criminal defense attorneys.

Ariana received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and her law degree from the University of California at Berkeley. She served as a Deputy District Attorney for the County of Humboldt, where she served as Head of Environmental Crimes. She also practiced at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Donahue Gallagher Woods LLP in the San Francisco Bay Area before joining Bienert | Katzman in 2008.

Areas of Law:
-White Collar Criminal Defense
-Internal Investigations
-Complex Civil Litigation
-Appeals
-Whistleblower Claims
-Last Minute Trials

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Partner

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

Karen Poston Miller

Bienert | Katzman PC

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Karen manages many of the administrative aspects of the firm as well as the non-attorney personnel. As a practicing attorney, Karen also assists with cases involving civil and criminal fraud, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, breach of contract, forfeiture and habeas corpus matters in both federal and state court. Karen was part of Bienert | Katzman's defense team that secured a mistrial in a case alleging dependent adult abuse. The trial jury deadlocked in favor of acquittal and the Attorney General's office subsequently dismissed the charge.

Karen earned her law degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, where she served as the Executive Editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review. She graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing.

Karen is a member of the Orange County Bar Association and the Warren J. Ferguson Inn of Court. She also serves as a volunteer counselor for the Orange County Boy Scouts of America.

Areas of Law:
-White Collar Criminal Defense
-Internal Investigations
-Appeals
-Whistleblower Claims

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Attorney/Administrator

Admission Details:
Admitted in 1990, California
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

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

Anthony Bisconti

Bienert | Katzman PC

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Tony Bisconti is an experienced attorney specializing in complex civil and insolvency litigation, as well as white-collar criminal matters.

He has extensive experience representing individuals, businesses, and institutions in all phases of litigation, including trials, contested matters, evidentiary hearings, mediations, adversary proceedings, and appeals. He represents clients in investigations and litigation involving the United States Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, and other federal, state, and local agencies.

Tony has been selected as a Super Lawyers "Rising Star" every year since 2015.

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:
-White Collar Criminal Defense
-Internal Investigations
-Complex Civil Litigation
-Appeals
-Bankruptcy and Restructuring
-Whistleblower Claims
-Last Minute Trials

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Attorney

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

Ms. Anne A. Uyeda

Bienert | Katzman PC

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Anne has extensive experience representing clients in state and federal courts, arbitrations, and mediations throughout the country. She specializes in complex business, insolvency, commercial litigation, and white collar criminal defense matters. Her litigation experience includes representing federal agencies, public companies, counties, insurance companies and brokers, general partnerships, and witnesses in significant contract disputes, environmental disputes, business tort actions, shareholder derivative actions, bankruptcy matters, complex securities actions, and federal civil and criminal investigations.

Anne is a member of the Orange County Asian American Bar Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association ("NAPABA"), and the Orange County Bar Association. She served as a panelist on municipal bankruptcies at the 2015 NAPABA Annual Convention held in New Orleans, Louisiana. Anne previously served on the Board of Directors for Friends of READ Orange County, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the literary services provided by the Orange County public libraries.

Prior to joining Bienert | Katzman, Anne practiced in the litigation departments of Musick, Peeler & Garrett in Los Angeles, and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Orange County.

Anne earned her law degree from UCLA, where she received the Blanche H. Lyle Scholarship and the Distinguished Pro Bono Student Award. She graduated cum laude from U.C. Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. While at U.C. Irvine, she was awarded the Regents' Scholarship four straight years, named to the Dean's List every year she was eligible, and was elected as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Areas of Law:
-White Collar Criminal Defense
-Internal Investigations
-Complex Civil Litigation
-Appeals
-Bankruptcy and Restructuring
-Whistleblower Claims
-Last Minute Trials
Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Senior Counsel

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

Ali Matin

Bienert | Katzman PC

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Ali Matin has experience in a broad range of business and complex civil ligation matters in state and federal court, and also represents debtors, creditors, and trustees in bankruptcy proceedings. His clients have included individuals and businesses in a wide variety of industries such as finance, real estate, technology, healthcare, medical devices, and the legal profession.

Prior to joining Bienert | Katzman, Ali served as judicial law clerk to then Chief Bankruptcy Judge of the Central District of California, Peter H. Carroll.

Ali earned his law degree from Loyola Law School in 2009. During law school, Ali was an editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review where he published Digital Rights Management (DRM) in Online Music Stores: DRM-Encumbered Music Downloads' Inevitable Demise as a Result of the Negative Effects of Heavy-Handed Copyright Law, 28 Loy. L.A. Ent. L. Rev. 265 (2008).

Ali was selected to the Super Lawyers "Rising Star" in 2019.

Areas of Law:
-White Collar Criminal Defense
-Internal Investigations
-Complex Civil Litigation
-Appeals
-Bankruptcy and Restructuring
-Whistleblower Claims
-Last Minute Trials

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Attorney

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

John L. Littrell

Bienert | Katzman PC

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

John represents individuals and businesses under investigation for all types of fraud (including wire fraud, bank fraud, tax fraud, mail fraud, and securities fraud) as well as corruption and bribery, violations of international trade and export laws, anti-kickback statutes and “Stark” laws, and other regulatory offenses. He advises clients under government scrutiny in highly regulated industries, including health care, government contracts, finance, and firearms and explosives. He has represented clients from all over the world and led investigations in cases involving extensive conduct abroad.

A specialist in high-stakes trials and appeals, John has prevailed at every level in the federal system, including the District Court, the Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

John has more than fifteen years of experience negotiating with the United States Department of Justice and state and local prosecuting agencies. He has persuaded prosecutors to narrow or dismiss potential charges, and he has convinced judges to dismiss indictments based on obscure and novel constitutional challenges. If a case is prosecuted, John dissects the charging document with creative, original motions. He has successfully challenged illegal searches and interrogations, resulting in the suppression of evidence and leading to complete dismissals. At trial, John applies sophisticated techniques to identify jurors who will treat his clients fairly and presents them with a compelling narrative to support a verdict of not guilty.

John has also had considerable success in getting wrongful convictions reversed. He has reversed two death sentences, multiple life sentences, and decades of prison terms for a variety of offenses.

John has an extensive background in immigration law. He is an expert in negotiating “immigration-safe” pleas for non-citizens and seeking post-conviction relief for individuals facing deportation or removal.

John graduated in the top five percent of his class at UCLA School of Law. After law school, John was an Associate at Morrison & Foerster, LLP in San Francisco. He was a law clerk for the Honorable A. Wallace Tashima in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. John went on to serve as a Deputy Federal Public Defender in the Central District of California, where he handled hundreds of challenging and unique cases, tried more than twenty federal cases, handled several federal appeals and writs, and served as the Chief of the Los Angeles Trial Unit. John supervised 30 lawyers, led training in trial advocacy, and coordinated district-wide challenges to federal prosecutions. He co-authored the Motions Practice chapter of the 2010 treatise Defending a Federal Criminal Case. He was also an Adjunct Professor at Loyola Law School, where he taught Evidence for Trial Lawyers.

Areas of Law:
-White Collar Criminal Defense
-Internal Investigations
-Complex Civil Litigation
-Appeals
-Las Minute Trials

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Partner

Admission Details:
Admitted in 2002, California

Law School Attended:
University of California, Los Angeles
J.D.
Order of the Coif
Best Oral Advocate, Moot Court

University Attended:
University of California, Santa Cruz
B.A. Politics
Honors in College and Major (Politics)

Associations & Memberships:
Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, Attorney Delegate, 2017-2020
Orange County Bar Association
Federal Bar Association, Los Angeles Chapter
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Admissions
California
Supreme Court of the United States
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

DAVID GUESS

Bienert | Katzman PC

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

David has over a decade of experience in bankruptcy and corporate restructuring and bankruptcy litigation. His main practice area is bankruptcy and corporate restructuring. He is involved in cases at both the regional and national level. He has been on virtually every side of a bankruptcy case, giving him unique insights into the players and the process. He represents debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, asset purchasers, trustees, creditors’ committees, litigation trusts, fraudulent transfer and preference defendants, landlords, and others.

David has been named by the American Bankruptcy Institute as a 2018 "Top 40 Under 40" emerging leader in the insolvency practice, in Best Lawyers for his work in bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights, insolvency and reorganization law, as a Super Lawyers honoree in Super Lawyers Magazine (So. Cal. Edition). and is AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He is a member of the boards of directors of the Southern California Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association and of the Los Angeles and Orange County Bankruptcy Forums. He has been an advisory board member and panel producer for various bankruptcy conferences, and has spoken at bankruptcy conferences and at other educational events hosted by the American Bankruptcy Institute, the California Bankruptcy Forum, the Financial Lawyers Conference, and the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum. He was a Conference Co-Chair of the California Bankruptcy Forum. David is on the panels of pro bono volunteer mediators for the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts for the Central and Southern Districts of California.

David formerly served as a law clerk to the Honorable Maureen A. Tighe of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California. He also served as a judicial extern to both Los Angeles Bankruptcy Judge Thomas B. Donovan (senior status) and to the late Honorable David G. Sills, Presiding Justice of the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Three, sitting in Santa Ana, California.

David is licensed to practice law in California, New York and the District of Columbia, and to appear before the Supreme Court of the United States and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second, Third, and Ninth Circuits. He is also a licensed real estate broker.

David received his law degree from UCLA School of Law, where he graduated Order of the Coif (fourth in his class) and was an Editor with UCLA Law Review, and his undergraduate degrees in History and Slavic Languages and Literatures from UCLA.

Areas of Law:
-Appeals
-Bankruptcy and Restructuring

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Partner

Admission Details:
Admitted in 2005, California

Law School Attended:
UCLA School of Law
Class of 2005
J.D.

University Attended:
University of California, Los Angeles
B.A. in History and B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures

Admissions
California
New York
District of Columbia
Supreme Court of the United States
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Whitney Bernstein

Bienert | Katzman PC

Attorney in San Clemente, CA
Whitney has spent her career representing clients charged with felony and misdemeanor criminal offenses. She is an aggressive litigator with a track record for achieving success for her clients when the odds are against them. Whitney earned her reputation as a credible, indefatigable, and respected advocate during her years as a trial attorney with the Federal Defenders of San Diego and with Brooklyn Defender Services. She has tried numerous felony and misdemeanor federal and state jury trials.

In addition to Whitney’s considerable courtroom and trial experience, she has drafted and argued countless suppression and discovery violation motions, negotiated favorable dispositions for her clients, and obtained numerous dismissals of charges. Whitney takes a very hands-on approach by involving herself in all aspects of case management, investigation, interviews, negotiations, and trial preparation. She has also successfully argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding interpretation and application of federal immigration laws.

Prior to her decision to specialize in criminal defense, she honed her research and writing skills by developing arguments in the seminal Supreme Court case on the constitutionality of warrantless GPS monitoring, assisting in lawsuits against the City of Philadelphia challenging the constitutionality of prison conditions, and drafting Reports and Recommendations on habeas petitions and employment discrimination claims for a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of New York.

In addition to her actual practice, while at the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc., Whitney helped expand the office’s renowned training curriculum and supervised new trial attorneys. She also continues to train federal criminal defense practitioners at the local and national level. At her most recent training at the National Seminar for Federal Defenders, she spoke on the emerging body of law on cell phones and the Fourth Amendment. Currently, Whitney proudly serves on the inaugural Advisory Board to the San Diego County Probation Department Chief.

Prior to joining Bienert | Katzman, Whitney was a trial attorney for the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. Before that, she was a trial attorney for the Brooklyn Defender Services in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School earning her J.D. and simultaneously earning her Master of Science in Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania Department of Criminology. Whitney was an Associate Editor of the Journal of Law and Social Change and was awarded a Pro Bono Recognition of Outstanding Distinction for her service. As an undergraduate at Cornell University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Government and Sociology with a concentration in Law and Society, she graduated with Distinction in All Subjects, Dean’s List, and was an active volunteer in the local community as a firefighter and teacher.

Areas of Law:
White Collar Criminal Defense
Appeals
Last Minute Trials

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Attorney

Admission Details:
Admitted in 2015, California

Law School Attended:
University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D.

University Attended:
University of Pennsylvania Department of Criminology, M.S.
Cornell University, B.A.
Double Major in Government and Sociology; Concentration in Law and Society

Admissions
California
New York
Supreme Court of the United States
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States District Court for the Central District of California
United States District Court for the Southern District of California

Nathan Reinhardt

Bienert | Katzman PC

Attorney in San Clemente, CA

Prior to joining Bienert | Katzman, Nathan served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Ernest M. Robles of the United States Bankruptcy Court from 2016 to 2017 and then the Honorable Scott H. Yun of the United States Bankruptcy Court from 2017 to 2018. While clerking, Nathan researched and drafted memoranda on various types of issues that arise in bankruptcy cases and adversary proceedings, including but not limited to issues raised in motions for preliminary injunction, motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment, chapter 11 disclosure statements, plan confirmations, cash collateral motions, sale motions, avoidance and turnover actions, exceptions to discharge motions under Section 523 of the Bankruptcy Code, and nondischargeability actions under Section 727 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Nathan earned his law degree from Loyola Law School, serving as an editor of the International and Comparative Law Review’s Inter-American Court of Human Rights Project and as a member of the International Human Rights Clinic. While in law school, Nathan was also an extern for the Honorable Sandra R. Klein of the United States Bankruptcy Court.

Areas of Law:
-Bankruptcy and Restructuring

Experience & Credentials:

Position:
Attorney

Admission Details:
Admitted in 2016, California

Law School Attended:
Loyola Law School, J.D.

University Attended:
University of California, Santa Barbara, B.A. in Political Science

Admissions
California