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.
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.
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 law. On her spare time enjoys traveling, doing DIY projects, and spending time with loved ones.
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.
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.
Amy Bevan is currently the Senior Paralegal at GrahamHollis APC, specializing in plaintiff's side employment law and protecting the rights of workers throughout California.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in 2003 from the College of William and Mary in Virginia with a focus in government and computer science, and has worked in a wide array of legal fields including oil and gas litigation, general civil litigation, criminal law and civil rights.
Amy is excited to be joining the San Diego Paralegal Association as a Director working as a School Liaison. She is a people person and loves providing ways for others to connect and share ideas.
Amy lives in the Rolando Village neighborhood of San Diego with her boyfriend, dog, and bearded dragon. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, volunteering, traveling, hiking and the outdoors.
Christina Hough is a seasoned legal paraprofessional having worked as a senior paralegal on the in-house litigation team of a Fortune 10 company and a legal secretary on the Business Trials team at an AmLaw 100 firm among prior roles. She has more than 19 years of experience working as a member of pre-litigation and litigation teams at small businesses, large enterprises and law firms of varying sizes and specialties. She has extensive experience in general civil litigation matters, including personal injury, products liability, premises liability, construction defect, pharmacy and administrative law, small claims, and other specialized areas of law. She has also argued in court trials before small claims courts in various jurisdictions throughout the western United States and, as a result, has obtained numerous defense verdicts on behalf of a Fortune 10 company.
Christina earned her B.A. in Public Administration from Southern New Hampshire University, graduating summa cum laude and as a Distinguished Scholar with a 4.0 GPA. She received her paralegal certificate with honors in Generalist Curriculum from the University of San Diego Paralegal Program – the very first paralegal program in the U.S. to receive American Bar Association approval. She has completed all coursework for the e-Discovery Certificate program developed by the EDI (Electronic Discovery Institute) Distance Learning Initiative and is in the process of writing an article for EDI approval.
Christina is a member of the San Diego Paralegal Association, Los Angeles Paralegal Association, University of San Diego Paralegal Alumni Association, San Diego Legal Secretaries Association, National Notary Association, and other professional and academic associations. She has also published articles discussing continuing legal education opportunities, legal technology, and workplace productivity on LinkedIn and for SDPA’s newsletter, Precedents.
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.
Sheba Candor serves on the 2021 San Diego Paralegal Association Board of Directors as a Director and Sustaining Members Committee Chair.
Sheba Candor has been a member of the San Diego Paralegal Association since 2017. She first learned about the association at SDPA’s annual Bridging the Gap event held at San Diego Miramar College where she obtained her ABA-approved paralegal degree graduating with High Honors and as a member of the Paralegal National Honor Society, Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX). Sheba was also the recipient of the 2017 SDPA Academic Excellence Scholarship Award.
Sheba currently works as a Paralegal at a civil litigation firm, Noonan Lance Boyer & Banach LLP, and as a Reference Librarian at the San Diego Law Library assisting patrons and attorneys with legal research. Sheba aspires to give back to the legal community and find and create new opportunities for leadership, volunteerism, and mentorship.
Sumner Caesar is a litigation paralegal at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, a firm that specializes in securities class action and antitrust law. Before earning her ABA-approved paralegal certificate with honors from the University of California San Diego Extension Paralegal Program in 2017, she interned at both the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting Section and the El Dorado County Superior Court.
While graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, she worked as a program and administrative assistant at the UCSD Extension Legal Education Programs.
When she is not in the office, she likes to sing, read, and explore all that San Diego has to offer with her friends.
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.
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.