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.

Janet Portman, Executive Editor

Nolo's Executive Editor, Janet Portman oversees editorial work on all Nolo books, articles, and websites. She specializes in residential and commercial landlord/tenant law, legal issues related to courts, and criminal law. She is the author or a coauthor of Every Landlord's Legal GuideEvery Landlord's Guide to Finding Great TenantsFirst-Time Landlord: Your Guide to Renting Out a Single-Family Home, Every Tenant's Legal Guide,Renters' RightsNegotiate the Best Lease for Your BusinessLeases & Rental AgreementsThe California Landlord's Law Book: Rights and Responsibilities, and California Tenants' Rights. Portman received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Stanford University and a law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law. Before joining Nolo in 1994, she practiced law as a public defender.

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.

Chelsey Langan, Vice President, Sales & Operations

Chelsey Langan joined Nolo in 2008. She leads the sales team, operations and business development for the company’s Martindale-Nolo attorney marketing programs, including lead generation and directory services. Prior to joining Nolo, she held senior positions with Matchpoint and other companies involved in lead generation. Chelsey holds a BS in marketing.

Editor Bios

Sachi Barreiro, J.D.

Sachi Barreiro is a legal editor at Nolo, specializing in employment law and workers’ compensation law. Before joining Nolo, Sachi practiced law for several years in San Francisco, first representing injured plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits, then advising businesses on employment and corporate matters. Sachi received her law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she graduated magna cum laude.

Chris Barta, J.D.

Chris conducts legal research for and updates Nolo's books and websites. Before working at Nolo, Chris was a reference attorney and Westlaw account manager for Thomson Reuters. Chris earned an undergraduate degree in English from Saint John's University (Minnesota), and his J.D. from Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Minnesota.

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 author of numerous immigration books such as Becoming a U.S. Citizen. 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's School of Law and Jackson School of International Studies. Her undergraduate degree is in philosophy, from Bryn Mawr College.

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.

Jessica Gillespie

Jessica Gillespie has been a legal researcher at Nolo since 2014. She conducts legal research and writes articles for Nolo’s website. Before joining Nolo, she worked in the library of a large law firm in Richmond, Virginia and at New York University’s Law Library. Jessica received a B.A. from the University of Virginia, an M.S. in Library and Information Science from Long Island University, and an M.A. in United States History from North Carolina State University.

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 State Bar of California with over a decade of experience in litigation and legal publishing. David is a graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law.

Lina Guillen, Attorney

Lina Guillen has been a legal writer and editor for Nolo since 2012. She writes and edits articles on a wide range of family law topics and oversees family law content development on Nolo.com, Divorcenet.com, and Lawyers.com. Lina edits a variety of Nolo books and is a coauthor of Neighbor Law, 8th edition. Prior to joining Nolo, Lina practiced civil litigation and family law at several firms in the Bay Area, including Hanson Bridgett LLP and Hanson Crawford Crum LLP. She also served as a judicial extern for Judge Susan Illston of the United States District Court. Lina is an active member of the California State Bar and received her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she served as the submissions editor for the Hastings Women's Law Journal. Before law school, Lina was an editorial assistant for The Press Democrat newspaper in Sonoma County.

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 and a B.A. degree from Boston University (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude), and is a member of the California State Bar. Beth specializes in disability law, Social Security and Medicare, and elder law, and is editor of Nolo's Guide to Social Security DisabilityThe Complete IEP GuideSocial Security, Medicare, and Government PensionsLong-Term Care, and California's Workers' CompensationBeth has also 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 Disagreement, and Nolo's Online LLC.

John McCurley, Attorney

John McCurley is a legal editor at Nolo, focusing on DUI and driving law. He has a degree in engineering physics from U.C. San Diego and completed law school at the University of Francisco School of Law. Before joining Nolo, John practiced criminal defense and juvenile dependency law, primarily doing writs and appeals. He has four published appellate victories: In re Juarez (2010) 182 Cal.App.4th 1316, K.F. v. Superior Court (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 1369, People v. Hill (2015) 236 Cal.App.4th 1100 (co-counsel), and In re Bianca S. (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 1272. John maintains a small private practice in San Diego (see www.mccurleylaw.com).

Cara O'Neill, Attorney

Cara O'Neill is a legal editor and writer at Nolo, focusing on bankruptcy, consumer credit, and debt. She writes for several sites, including Nolo.com, Lawyers.com, AllLaw.com, and TheBankruptcySite.org. She also edits a variety of Nolo book titles and updated Nolo’s How to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, 19th edition. Prior to joining Nolo, Cara practiced for over 20 years in civil litigation and bankruptcy. During that time, she served as an Administrative Law Judge mediating disputes in the automotive industry, taught undergraduate and graduate law courses, and served as house counsel for a large insurance company. She earned her law degree in 1994 from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of law, where she served as a law review editor and graduated a member of the Order of the Barristers—an honor society recognizing excellence in courtroom advocacy. Cara maintains a bankruptcy practice in Roseville, California at the Law Office of Cara O’Neill.

Micah Schwartzbach, Attorney (Managing Editor)

Micah Schwartzbach joined Nolo’s editorial staff in 2013. Beforehand, he practiced primarily criminal defense law, specializing in research and writing. As Nolo's Managing Editor, he oversees content on Nolo.com and affiliated websites. He also writes and edits content across a range of practice areas. 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, J.D.

Betsy Simmons Hannibal specializes in estate planning. She writes for Nolo.com, edits many Nolo books, and is the managing editor of Quicken WillMaker. 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. Hannibal 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.

Marcia Stewart

Marcia Stewart has been a Nolo editor and author since 1989, writing and editing Nolo books and forms on landlord-tenant law, real estate, and small business. She is the co-author of Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First HomeEvery Landlord's Legal GuideFirst-Time LandlordEvery Tenant's Legal GuideLeases and Rental AgreementsRenters' Rights, and The Legal Answer Book for Families. She has edited dozens of Nolo books, including The Women's Small Business Start-Up Kit.

Stephen Stine, J.D.

As an editor and research manager at Nolo, Stephen conducts legal research and writes and edits content for Nolo's books and websites. Previous to joining Nolo, Stephen worked at the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. 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 Juris Doctor and Master of Science in Information degrees from the University of Michigan.

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