About ACBA

Board of Directors

Alice Cheng

Alice Cheng

President

Candelaria PC

Alice Cheng, Candelaria PC, is a family law attorney who handles matters throughout many of the Bay Area counties. Alice was the 2017 recipient of the ACBA Distinguished Service Award for Barristers. Alice has been included on the SuperLawyers – Rising Stars list for 2018, 2019, and 2020, and the SuperLawyers list for 2021. Alice is on the ACBA’s Lawyer Referral Service Family Law Panel, and regularly volunteers with Legal Access Alameda’s pro bono clinics. She is also a member of the Earl Warren American Inn of Court Executive Board and the Contra Costa County Bar Association’s Family Law Section Executive Committee. An proud immigrant from Hong Kong, Alice also speaks Cantonese and basic conversational Mandarin.

Megan Burns

Megan Burns

President-Elect

Bonjour, Thorman, Burns, Dahm

With over a decade of criminal litigation experience in private practice and as a deputy public defender, Megan Burns has worked on nearly every type of criminal case imaginable from special circumstances homicide to drunk driving. She spent many years advocating for indigent defendants at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, arguably the best criminal defense firm in the United States. She has tried over forty jury trials, including numerous serious felony cases. She graduated with honors from Boston College in 1999 and earned her law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School.

Jo-Anna Nieves

Jo-Anna Nieves

Vice President

Nieves Law Firm

Jo-Anna Nieves formed the Nieves Law Firm, APC in order to help those accused of crimes navigate the complex and challenging legal process of the criminal justice system. Jo-Anna is the former Chair of the ACBA Barristers Section Executive Committee and former Chair of the ACBA Judicial Appointments Evaluation Committee. She also volunteers as a mentor for El Centro Legal de la Raza’s Youth Law Academy and is a member of the Earl Warren Inns of Court. She has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star every year since 2016 and her firm has been recognized as one of the fastest growing law firms in the nation by Law Firm 500.

Brenda Aguilar-Guerrero

Brenda Aguilar-Guerrero

Director

Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP

Brenda Aguilar-Guerrero has been representing public entities on complex eminent domain and inverse condemnation matters for more than 25 years. She has assisted clients with large, complex multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects requiring hundreds of acquisitions, as well as smaller scale projects throughout the state for a variety of clients.

Maria Bee

Maria Bee

Director

Oakland City Attorney’s Office

Chief Assistant City Attorney Maria Bee oversees both the Affirmative Litigation, Innovation & Enforcement Division and the General & Complex Litigation Division (defense) of the Oakland City Attorney’s Office. She is a member of the City Attorney's Executive Team. Ms. Bee has 25 years of experience in the legal community, both as a practicing attorney and as a fighter for justice for the most vulnerable populations. She graduated from UC Berkeley School of Law and began her legal career as an associate at McCutchen Doyle, Brown & Enerson, where she handled general commercial litigation cases. Ms. Bee chairs the Alameda County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service committee. 

Mahal Montoya Billingsley

Mahal Montoya Billingsley

Director

Law Offices of Mahal Montoya Billingsley

Mahal began her law practice in 2014, having spent the previous fourteen years as a law clerk, educator, and paralegal specialist for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Mahal was born in Vallejo, and after a series of family tragedies enrolled herself in the tenth grade at Oakland Technical High School. She was legally emancipated as a minor the following spring. These childhood experiences inspired her to become an attorney and in her law practice, to work on family law issues. Mahal received a full academic scholarship to study law at the University of Iowa after earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from UC Berkeley.

Janice Cho

Janice Cho

Director

Law Office of Janice Cho

Janice Cho has been practicing law since 2004, with expertise in family law and immigration law. Ms. Cho received her Juris Doctorate degree from Northwestern University School of Law. After law school, Ms. Cho began her career working exclusively in the area of family law and immigration law. She has supervised family law and domestic violence legal clinics, provided technical assistance to non-profits and pro bono attorneys, provided trainings on family law and immigration law, and regularly serves as Judge Pro Tempore in Alameda County.  Ms. Cho was selected as a 2021 Super Lawyer in Northern California. She is proficient in Spanish and conversational in Korean.

Aimee Hamoy

Aimee Hamoy

Director

KAUFMAN DOLOWICH VOLUCK, LLP

Aimee Hamoy is a litigation partner with extensive trial experience. Her practice focuses on the defense of public entities in cases alleging violations of civil rights/excessive force, and the defense of national retailers in serious personal injury and premises liability matters. Ms. Hamoy started her legal career as a deputy district attorney and has represented public entity clients and large national retailers in all aspects of conflict resolution from pre-litigation negotiations through verdict and appeal. Some of her most interesting and challenging work has been in the defense of law enforcement officers across Northern California in civil rights, excessive force, and wrongful death claims. Aimee’s trial experience includes excellent results involving traumatic brain injury claims, wrongful death, and catastrophic injury matters.

Mario Moya

Mario Moya

Director

Moya Law Firm

Mario A. Moya is the owner of the Moya Law Firm in Oakland.  He has more than 16 years of experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of civil matters.  His primary practice areas include commercial litigation, personal injury actions, business torts, and injury to personality/defamation.  He also provides advice and counsel to clients on business, privacy and cyberlaw matters.  Mario earned his Bachelor of Arts in economics from Princeton University and his law degree from Stanford Law School.  After law school, he clerked for the Hon. Jerry Buchmeyer of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas.  

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Byron Toma

Director

Office of the General Counsel, BART

Byron Toma is an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at BART where he works on transactional matters including public contracting, free speech, governmental transparency, and public health and safety issues. He also serves on the legal staff assigned to the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority where he works on marketing, real estate, environmental and telecom issues. Prior to working at BART, Byron served in county counsel’s offices, city attorney’s offices, and a DA’s office. He holds a JD from Santa Clara University (SCU) School of Law and an LLM in environmental law from Golden Gate University School of Law.

Pamela Ross

Pamela Ross, Jr.

Past President (ex-Officio)

All for the Family Legal Clinic, Inc.

Pamela Ross is the founder and CEO of All for the Family Legal Clinic, Inc. She previously served as the Chair of the ACBA Family Law Section and regularly volunteers with Legal Access. She has been selected to the California Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers since 2016. Since 2017 she has been selected as one of the Top 10 Family Law Attorney’s under 40 in Northern California by NAFLA. In May of 2015 she was honored by VLSC as their Volunteer of the Year and in March of 2014 she was honored by Assemblyman Bill Quirk’s office as the District 20 Woman of the Year in Law.

Jason Leong

Jason Leong

Barristers Chair
(Ex-Officio)

Law Offices of Jason Leong

Jason practices criminal defense and also handles post-conviction writs, petitions, and appeals. Jason has been a long-time resident of Alameda County, going to high school in the East Bay, and graduating from UC Berkeley and UC Hastings College of the Law. After more than two years as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of California and a Deputy District Attorney in Madera County, he’s excited to be back home serving the Bay Area. Jason is a former member of the Earl Warren and Kennedy Inns of Court and enjoys staying at the cutting edges of the law.

Tiela Chalmers

Tiela Chalmers

CEO

Alameda County Bar Association
Legal Access Alameda

Tiela Chalmers is the Chief Executive Officer/General Counsel of the Alameda County Bar Association and Legal Access Alameda.  After working for years at a law firm, she moved to the San Francisco Volunteer Legal Services Program, ultimately becoming its Executive Director.   

In 2011, Tiela became a consultant focusing on legal services for low-income communities, working nationally.

In 2014, she joined the ACBA/Legal Access.  She chairs the Disaster Legal Services Collaborative, a statewide group of bar associations, legal services providers, and champions working to provide free legal assistance to survivors of disasters.