board of directors
Julie A. Schwartz
Julie Schwartz is currently employed at the Huerta Law Firm as a Paralegal/Business Development Manager, specializing in Bankruptcy, Criminal and Personal Injury Law. Prior to joining the Huerta Law Firm she worked at The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Frank, specializing in civil litigation with an emphasis in personal injury law where she assisted in all phases from intake, investigation, property damage (inspection, evaluation, and settlement), coordination with medical providers and other professional/experts, claims presentation and evaluation, pleadings, discovery, law and motion, to ADR, and trial.
Highly motivated and dedicated to academic excellence, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Psychology and Spanish, and a minor in Interpersonal Communication from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2000. As an undergraduate student, she participated as the Vice President of Phi Chi wherein she actively coordinated campus events and established peer advising/career counseling for Psychology students. Additionally, she conducted and co-authored a research project entitled, “Attributions of Blame toward Assailants and Victims of Rape”, which ultimately received an award of “Best Paper” from the Midwestern Psychological Association. She was also afforded the opportunity to study at La Universidad de las Americas (UDLA), Puebla, Mexico. Upon her arrival to California, she became a Public Notary and completed the Paralegal Certificate Program at Miramar College. She obtained her Real Estate License in 2014 and is a 2016 graduate of the Citizens’ Academy.
A proponent of giving back to the community, from 2009-2010 Julie volunteered at the Center for Community Solutions’ Legal Clinic, assisting victims of Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault. In early April of 2010, she interned at Consorcio para el Dialogo Parlmentario y la Equidad Oaxaca (Consorcio), Oaxaca, Mexico. In 2011, Julie became a Director for the San Diego Paralegal Association (SDPA), wherein she served as the Vice-President of Membership. In 2012 she upheld the dual role of Vice-President of Membership and Vice-President of Programs & Education. In 2013-2014, she served as the SDPA President. In 2015, she upheld a dual role of Vice-President of Membership on the SDPA board as well as a Director on the California Alliance of Paralegal Associations (CAPA). She is a co-founder of North County Abuse Prevention Services (NCAPS), a 501(c)(3) dedicated to the prevention of abuse.
She currently serves as the 2017 President of SDPA, Vice-President of Administration of CAPA, and Treasurer of NCAPS. She is also actively involved with the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego (CASD), San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association (SDLRLA), La Justicia, as well as the annual San Diego High School Mock Trial Competition and Couture for a Cause.
In her free time, she enjoys traveling, learning languages, cooking, running marathons, hiking, practicing her Martial Art, SooBahk Do, as well as spending time with her boys – Curious George and Diego.
VP Programs & Education
June Hunter is equipped with a powerful combination of IT systems expertise and legal experience and has a unique capability for recognizing and resolving the complex technology issues encountered in a law firm environment.
As a paralegal, she provides both transactional and litigation support and is instrumental in the implementation of discovery plans, including data analysis and the creation of databases or other review systems for legal personnel.
A graduate of the ABA-approved Paralegal Studies program at UC San Diego, June has worked in the legal field her entire career in roles such as a legal secretary, paralegal, litigation support, and computer software trainer. Her industry experience and talent has made her a go-to provider of clear, hands-on training for other legal professionals in how to effectively use legal software.
In addition to serving on the Board for the San Diego Paralegal Association, June volunteers as a Paralegal Mentor for the San Diego Paralegal Association and is an active member of American Association for Paralegal Education, Women in eDiscovery and the ESI Forum. She also teaches Computers for Paralegals at UC San Diego’s Paralegal Studies Program.
Community & Professional Involvement
Sheila Grela, ACP
Sheila A. Grela is an Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP®) and Certified eDiscovery specialist (CEDS®) with an extensive legal background spanning over two decades. Ms. Grela is experienced in all aspects of litigation. She has assisted attorneys on matters ranging from the analysis of value engineering change orders on government contracts, to multi-million dollar contract litigation, as well as class action suits and construction defect cases. Ms. Grela's computer expertise includes Microsoft® Office applications, Relativity®, Ipro Eclipse®, Concordance®, LiveNote® and TrialDirector®.
Ms.Grela received her paralegal certificate with honors from the ABA- approved USD Paralegal program, and earned a Contract Management Certificate from SDSU. Her document management skills have been furthered through additional classes from the Litigation Technology Management Certificate program, offered through the UC San Diego | Extension Studies program. She is an active member of the Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists, San Diego Paralegal Association, National Association of Legal Assistants, San Diego Legal Secretaries Association, and the San Diego Chapter of Women in e-Discovery, for which she previous served as the Membership Director.
Jennifer started her legal career after graduating from UC Berkeley in 2008 and has been a paralegal since 2010, working in areas including real estate litigation, personal injury, mass torts, product liability, and employment law. She is currently a litigation paralegal at CGS3, a boutique commercial real estate law firm. Prior to joining CGS3, she was a litigation paralegal at Higgs Fletcher & Mack and Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein in San Francisco.
Jennifer served as a SDPA board member, PR Chair and website co-chair in 2018. She is a member of the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association, Lawyers Club of San Diego, and Women in eDiscovery, San Diego Chapter.
In her free time, Jennifer is a dancer and enjoys the outdoors, studying Arabic, and spending time with her family.
Claire Hamilton has been working as a paralegal since February of 2015 and currently works at Burke & Domercq, LLP, where she practices family litigation.
Prior to that she worked as a paralegal for a sole practitioner, Reed Smith, practicing business litigation after receiving her paralegal certificate with honors from the University of San Diego’s ABA-approved paralegal program. Claire decided to enter the legal field after earning her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a minor in Human Rights from the University of California San Diego in June of 2013.
Outside of her profession Claire enjoys photography, traveling, and the occasional word play, as well as volunteering with the San Diego Paralegal Association to strengthen, promote, and empower the paralegal profession.
Tracy Morgan possess over 15 years of experience in the legal field, the last four years of which being exclusively in Family Law. Tracy is currently a lead paralegal at Cage & Miles, LLP where the partners rely on her support and expertise in complex divorces and high-conflict custody and visitation matters.
Prior to working in family law, Tracy worked in civil litigation for 11 years. Before her first paralegal position, she earned her Paralegal Certificate from the University of San Diego Paralegal Program in 2008 and became a Notary Public in 2016.
In Tracy’s spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son and watching The Ohio State Buckeyes.
Souriya Maniwan, ACP
Souriya (Joe) Maniwan, ACP has been in the legal industry for over 12 years. He earned his Paralegal Certificate from the University of San Diego’s Paralegal Program in 2016. Shortly after, Joe became a Certified Paralegal and earned his Advanced Certified Paralegal designation in Contracts Management/Contracts Administration and e-Discovery through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA).
Kristine M. Custodio Suero, ACP
Kristine Custodio Suero is an award-winning legal professional and a highly sought after speaker in her profession inspiring legal professionals to achieve authentic, purpose-driven careers and lives. A true servant leader, she has lead the San Diego Paralegal Association and California Alliance of Paralegal Associations as President and is proud to champion diversity as the first Filipina at the helm of the statewide professional trade association.
Her passion for service spans into education like her elders including her own mother, Zena (yes, pronounced like the warrior princess). A zealot for higher education and NextGen pipeline development, Kristine teaches legal courses for a local San Diego paralegal program and lends her time as an advisory board member for one of the most prestigious universities in San Diego.
She is most passionate about the innovation economy and dedicates her time to inclusive economic development projects, including employee ownership, and endeavoring to advance women in business, especially in non-traditional roles and industries such as STEAM and construction. Kristine was recently re-appointed as a Commissioner and serves as the Chair of the City of San Diego Citizens’ Equal Opportunity Commission advocating for supplier diversity in contracting with the City of San Diego and bridging the rich cultural landscape of her beloved city with opportunities of economic impact to build a vibrant place to live, work and play.
Ja’Mar Montgomery began his career in the legal field in 2004 as a student worker in the El Cajon Courthouse Family Law Division. Ja’Mar then went on to work for a large corporate bankruptcy firm, a family law practitioner, and both the City of San Diego and County of San Diego Retirement Systems. These roles have provided Ja’Mar with experience in the court system, private practice (both large and small), and public agencies. In his current role as a Disability Specialist for the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association (SDCERA), Ja’Mar is responsible for reviewing and investigating disability applications and providing recommendations to the Board of Retirement. In addition to handling his caseload, Ja’Mar is the first point of contact for disability retirement inquiries and conducts all of the initial one-on-one interviews with new applicants.
Ja’Mar is a San Diego native and attended San Diego State University where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration, and Master’s degree in Criminal Justice & Criminology. Ja’Mar then completed the USD Paralegal program in 2015, graduating with high honors. Ja’Mar currently serves on the College Area Community Planning Board and enjoys volunteering and giving back to his community. In his free time, Ja’Mar enjoys spending time with his family and playing in competitive adult basketball leagues throughout the City.
Sharon Shiyuan Zhu
Sharon Zhu is a Litigation Paralegal at Ferris & Britton. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree of Management in Public Administration and Master’s Degree of Law in Political Science from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. She pursued her Master’s Degree of Science in Financial Analysis from the University of San Francisco. Sharon got her Paralegal Certificate from UCSD Paralegal Program with 4.0 GPA and was nominated to the UCSD Chapter of Lambda Epsilon Chi (“LEX”), a national honor society founded by the American Association for Paralegal Education (“AAfPE”).
As a SDPA director, Sharon will have more opportunities and responsibilities to pass on her positive energy, to empower and encourage more people to strive and to help fulfill their ambitions and goals. She enjoys playing the piano and sports. Sharon speaks Mandarin and is a Half-Ironman Superfrog finisher
Viktor graduated from Law school in Russia on July 2013, he has been working as a paralegal in bankruptcy legal field since 2013 - 2016. In 2016 he passed the bar exam and became an Attorney at law in Russia.
On September 2017 he moved to San Diego, California. He earned his Paralegal Certificate from the University of San Diego’s Paralegal Program on June 2019, also completed the eDiscovery Executive Certificate program of ACEDS University.
Viktor is currently a litigation paralegal at Accident Law Center Andy Van Le & Associates and assists on cases regarding personal injury. In his spare time, he is creating video content for SDPA events, practicing Muay Thai, fishing and spending time with family, and friends.
Angela DeSaracho is a seasoned paralegal and currently works as the Training and Staffing Coordinator for Tyson & Mendes, a fast-growing San Diego law firm with over 150 attorneys nationwide. She has dedicated her career for the past 10 years in law firms working with all levels of management. She has managed medium to large teams focusing on civil litigation, centralizing resources, streamlining systems & procedures, training, focusing on employment development, and quality control. Angela specializes in civil litigation from pre-litigation through trial, and credits her experience and skill sets to her paralegal career as both a time keeper and in administrative roles within a firm.
Angela graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and an emphasis in philosophy. She is a native to San Diego and on her spare time enjoys spending time being a mentor, giving back to the community, and traveling.
Brianne Williams is a Senior Paralegal, Litigation and eDiscovery at AMN Healthcare, Inc., an innovator in healthcare workforce solutions and staffing services to healthcare facilities across the nation. In her role, Brianne supports the legal department and business with all litigation and privacy related matters.
Previously, Brianne worked as the Litigation Paralegal at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law- MacArthur Justice Center, a public interest law firm advocating for human rights and social justice as well as working in collaboration with the Center for Wrongful Convictions for the exoneration of wrongfully convicted individuals, seeking justice against those who wrongfully convicted them through civil litigation.
Brianne received her B.S. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her ABA-Approved Paralegal Certificate from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. She is a Certified e-Discovery Specialist (CEDS), holds a Forensic Science and Technology Certificate and is a Concordance® Certified Software Administrator.
Brianne is a member of the Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists, San Diego Chapter of Women in eDiscovery, San Diego Paralegal Association and California Alliance of Paralegal Association, Illinois Paralegal Association, and the American Bar Association.
In her personal time, Brianne enjoys traveling and spending time with her family, friends and french bulldog.