Our People

Board Officers

Kristy Gonowan

President

Kristy is in-house counsel at Allstate Insurance Company in the Dispute Resolution Services division. Her current practice is two-fold: managing litigation involving extra-contractual liability, excess verdict, and coverage issues, and providing advice and counsel as the sole legal contact for Allstate’s employee benefits health and welfare plans. Kristy is the division’s subject matter expert on the topics of diminished value claims by leasing companies and Medicare issues. She also serves as chair for the People, Communication, and Change Management team for Allstate’s Law & Regulation alternative fee arrangement committee, is a member of the PLF diversity scorecard committee, and is the coordinator for the Law & Regulation NAPABA budget.

 

Kristy currently serves as a NAPABA At-Large Board Member and will be installed as President of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association this November.

 

When not grounded by COVID-19, Kristy enjoys traveling nationwide to cover NBA games, particularly the NBA Finals and NBA All-Star Weekend, and going on international cruises.

Elin Park

First Vice President

Elin Park is a litigator at Jenner & Block LLP. She represents clients in complex commercial matters, including consumer litigation, class action, and contract disputes. Elin has successfully represented clients at trial and appellate levels, including before the Illinois Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. A federal court has described Elin’s advocacy in the courtroom as superlative. Elin has been recognized for her successful representations of pro bono clients with awards from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and the Seventh Circuit Bar Association.

 

In addition to serving as AABA Chicago’s First Vice President, she also serves on the board of KABA Chicago. Elin is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and Duke University.

Company Bio

Jean Liu

Second Vice President

Jean Liu is an attorney with a primary focus in litigation and complex insurance coverage. Ms. Liu regularly represents domestic and London-based insurance carriers with respect to financial institution bonds, and commercial crime, employment practices liability, mortgage banker/broker professional liability, and directors and officers liability policies. Ms. Liu also has extensive litigation experience with a wide range of matters including those arising from commercial disputes, medical and legal malpractice, other professional liability, employment law, and complex insurance coverage.

 

Additionally, she regularly handles class action matters rooted in privacy law, including the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. At Loyola University Chicago School of Law, she earned certificates in health law and trial advocacy, and additionally served as Features Articles Editor for the Loyola Consumer Law Review, Marketing & Coordinating Editor for the Annals of Health Law, Director of Social Programming for APALSA, and Research Assistant for the Director of Loyola’s Intellectual Property Program. Ms. Liu speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and in addition to serving as AABA’s Second Vice President, she also serves as President of the Chinese American Bar Association of Greater Chicago. Ms. Liu was also recently selected by the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) for its 2021 Diversity Leadership & Mentoring Program Cohort.

Company Bio

James Vergara

Secretary

James Vergara is a patent attorney in Barnes & Thornburg’s intellectual property (IP) department. He prepares and prosecutes patent applications for a variety of clients, such as startups, universities, and large corporations. James also has experience in patent litigation support, freedom-to-operate analysis, and patent portfolio due diligence for mergers and acquisitions. James received his B.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University and J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Company Bio

Ray Tanig

Treasurer

Rey is a partner in the boutique trust and estates firm of Harrison & Held, LLP. He has practiced primarily in the areas of estate planning, probate, trust and estate litigation and estate taxation for over 25 years. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his law degree from DePaul University College of Law. He participates as an attorney advisor for the American Cancer Society’s planned giving and the Lurie Children’s Hospital’s planned giving. Rey is also on the board of the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago. In his free time, Rey enjoys long distance road trips with his wife, Michella, and their three children, Izzy, Jack and Annie.

Company Bio

 

Board Members

Summer Du

Summer Du is an assistant corporation counsel for the City of Chicago Law Department, Collections, Ownership, and Administrative Litigation Division. Her practice focuses on debt collection, and creditors’ rights. Prior to City of Chicago, Ms. Du worked at a Fortune 500 company as a senior compliance associate. She has also been a regular volunteer at Chinatown Pro Bono Clinic, consulting clients in domestic relation matters. Ms. Du was a clerk of Judge Mark J. Lopez in Cook County, and APALSA president of DePaul University College of Law in 2014-2015. Before law school, She worked as a sports event organizer in 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and Coppa Italia 2011.

Jane Funk

Jane brings over 11 years of experience in the legal industry. She was ranked #1, globally for Chairman’s Club and pioneered the managed review practice at Robert Half Legal as the first Director of Legal Project. She was promoted to VP of Consulting Services where she worked nationally in assisting in-house legal departments and law firms in all aspects of eDiscovery, managed review, information governance, records management, contracts management, mergers and acquisitions, internal investigations, government investigations, data privacy, cyber security, and compliance and regulatory initiatives. Prior to joining Robert Half Legal, Jane practiced in litigation for a Chicago based firmed, Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona. Her practice was focused in commercial and real estate litigation. Jane and her husband Erik have two rambunctious boys, Fitz (4) and Whit (2).

James Ko

James utilizes his trial experience to advise health care providers on a wide range of disputes and regulatory issues. He represents doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses and social science practitioners in obtaining licensure and defends them in investigations and actions brought by state and federal authorities, hospitals and professional organizations.

James regularly drafts pleadings, substantive motions, discovery requests, responses and settlement agreements. He also has experience developing policies of records retention, claims reserve and ligature risk, as well as managing patients who are in custody.

Clients call on James for counsel regarding compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), including the review of institutional review board (IRB), service and information technology (IT) agreements. He has significant experience in healthcare transactions (affiliations, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions), regulatory compliance, such as fraud and abuse, healthcare financing, physician contracting and managed care arrangements. He is also well-versed in regulatory issues related to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

Kwanwoo Lee

Kwanwoo Lee is an associate at Marshall Gerstein, who secures patent protection for clients in the United States and foreign jurisdictions, and counsels clients on various intellectual property issues. At the firm, he serves on the Diversity and Inclusion committee and as liaison to the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms. Kwanwoo is also an active pro bono advocate, volunteering time with Lawyers for the Creative Arts and the Wills for Heroes Foundation. He received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law, and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Company Bio

Sang Yup Lee

Sang is the Development Manager at the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI). PILI’s mission is to engage, inspire, and empower those advancing equal access to justice. Sang is responsible for PILI’s fundraising efforts with law firms, corporations, foundations and individuals. He recently served as a panelist on “Developing and Sustaining Fundraising Volunteers” for the MIE National Fundraising Conference, which draws legal aid management and fundraising staff across the country to discuss best practices in fundraising. He previously worked as the Development Specialist at the Youth Leadership Academy in Elgin and as the Volunteer Engagement and Events Manager at Literacy DuPage in Naperville. Before entering the nonprofit world, he worked as an attorney for Progressive Law Group LLC in Chicago, where he concentrated his practice on class actions in consumer and employment rights matters. He received both his B.A. in Psychology and J.D. from the University of Notre Dame. During law school, he served as president of the Asian Law Student Association, co-president of the Public Interest Law Forum, and Article Editor of the Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy.

Company Bio

Samera Ludwig

Samera Syeda Ludwig is a partner at Lowis & Gellen LLP where she focuses her practice on employment discrimination, immigration and commercial disputes. She is also the Chair of the firm’s Immigration Practice. Samera has an active pro bono practice partnering with the National Immigrant Justice Center assisting individuals in obtaining asylum, U visas and other relief. Samera also sits on the Board of the Chicago High School For The Arts. Samera received her B.A. with Honors from Wesleyan University and her J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Company's Bio

Huy Nguyen

Huy Nguyen is an associate at Factor where he negotiates commercial contracts for a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company, focusing on information technology, data protection, and healthcare compliance. He was previously an associate at a consumer bankruptcy law firm providing financial guidance to debtors to navigate their Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings. Huy is also a board member of the Chinese American Bar Association of Greater Chicago and is an active volunteer at the monthly Chinatown Pro Bono Legal Clinic, providing free legal consultation to clients on various matters, including landlord-tenant, employment, family, and personal injury disputes. He received his BBAs in Marketing and International Business from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and his JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Amol Parikh

Amol Parikh is a partner at McDermott Will & Emery where he concentrates his practice on intellectual property and technology litigation, counseling, and procurement. He draws on his trial and litigation experience in combination with his engineering training to quickly identify intellectual property and technology issues and works with clients to develop creative strategies to address them. He earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and was a member of the DePaul Law Review. Amol maintains a robust pro bono practice focusing on immigration and civil rights matter. In addition to his legal practice, Amol is a 2018 Fellow for the Legal Counsel on Legal Diversity and a member of the Ravinia Associates Board.

Company's Bio

Armando 
Sandoval

Armando (“Archie”) has been an Assistant Cook County Public Defender for over 15 years. He is currently assigned to the Legal Resources Division, responsible for post-conviction matters and criminal appeals. For over 10 years he was assigned to the Felony Trial Division at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse (26th and California). He is also member of AFSCME Local 3315.

 

Dedicated to diversity and service, Armando has volunteered to teach Constitutional Law to middle-school students at Saucedo Scholastic Academy in Little Village, to help coach and train the Loyola Law School Corboy Trial Advocacy Team, and to meet with prospective Chicago-area students as a volunteer alumnus for Michigan State University. In college and law school he was a member of various student organizations involved with the Asian American community and/or public service, including APASO (Asian Pacific American Student Organization) and PASS (Philippine American Student Society) at Michigan State University. He is a proud member of the Filipino American Lawyers Association and Asian American Bar Association.

 

Born in The Philippines and raised in Henderson, Kentucky, Armando attended Michigan State University and the University of Louisville-Brandeis School of Law. He resides in the Near North Side with his wife and son.

Sonni Williams

Sonni Choi Williams was appointed as the City Attorney for the City of Lockport, Illinois in June of 2017. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Williams worked for the City of Peoria for over 17 years. She has over 20 years of experience in municipal law and defending civil state and federal tort and injunction cases including appeals before the state and federal appellate courts and the Illinois Supreme Court.

 

Ms. Williams was admitted to the practice in 1999; U.S. District Courts: Central District- IL in 2002 and Northern District-IL in 2017; U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit in 2007; and U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. She received her J.D. from the Northern Illinois University College of Law in 1999 and her B.A. in history from the University of Iowa in 1994. Ms. Williams was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism from 2005 to 2016 and to the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) Hearing Board currently as a Chair presiding over attorney disciplinary cases. She is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA); National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA); Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA); Will County Bar Association (WCBA); Will County Women’s Bar Association (WCWBA); and Black Bar Association (BBA) of Will County. Ms.Williams served two terms on the ISBA Assembly and two terms as an ISBA Board of Governor (2012-2018). She currently serves on the boards of Korean-American Bar Association of Chicago (KABA); Asian-American Bar Association Chicago (AABA), Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE); Prairie State Legal Services, and Lockport Township High School Foundation.

Company's Bio

 

Honorary Board

Peter Huh

Bio coming soon. 

Greg Lamorena

Gregory J. Lamorena is an attorney at Malman Law. He concentrates his practice in all areas of personal injury, including medical malpractice and nursing home abuse. Greg has spent his whole career representing injured individuals, and families of loved ones who have died due to the fault of others. Greg has recovered millions of dollars for his clients. He has extensive trial experience representing his clients in bench and jury trials.

 

Greg served as the sixth President of FALA Chicago. He also served as the Central Regional Governor of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association. Greg is a member of the Diversity Committee for the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. He received his law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Company's Bio

Phong Nguyen

Highly skilled and experienced in-house IP, privacy, tech transactions and product counsel with extensive background in patents, privacy, cybersecurity, technology transactions (SaaS, mobile apps, drones, autonomous vehicles, IoT, blockchain), counseling, and district court litigations. Effective and clear communicator and collaborator with teams ranging from engineers to product managers to in-house counsels to C-Suite executives on a wide variety of topics and products. Proven leadership and mentoring abilities through management of various client teams, junior team members and D&I teams. Extensive experience drafting and negotiating a variety of agreements including cloud, data sharing, distribution, supply, manufacturing, joint development, trial, and IP agreements. Assist in implementing blockchain in different industries (food, insurance, pharmaceuticals), and identifying applicable regulations including privacy.

 

Filed and responded to Post-Grant requests at the USPTO. Providing opinions for patents, trademarks and copyrights. Drafting and negotiating a variety of IP and technology agreements including licenses and cross-licenses, joint-development agreements, non-disclosure agreements, consulting agreements, joint venture and research collaboration agreements.

 

Litigated patent and trademark infringement cases in District Courts and the International Trade Commission.

 

Specialties: blockchain, computers systems, cloud, IoT, augmented reality systems, cellular phones, semiconductors, software, medical devices, oil and gas drilling, and automotive equipment including diagnostic tools

Jaz Park

Bio coming soon. 

 

Reach Out

Email: chicago.aaba@gmail.com

Phone: (312) 775-2044

 

Address:

321 S Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604

Stay Connected
 

Stay informed about our news, events, and articles about health care, subscribe to our newsletter.