Staff

Adam Murray
Executive Director
Bio

An expert on both housing and homelessness, Adam Murray has developed and promoted innovative public policies that reduce homelessness and lead to safe, healthy and affordable housing. Recognized nationally as a leader in homelessness issues, Adam has led ICLC in developing effective programs, including groundbreaking programs that meet the legal needs of homeless veterans in Los Angeles. In his six years as ICLC’s Executive Director, Adam has guided Inner City Law Center’s transformation from an organization of five attorneys operating with a $1.4 million budget to an organization of 40 staff, including 20 attorneys, with a $3.4 million budget.

Prior to joining ICLC, Adam was a litigator with the international law firm Howrey LLP. In 2001, he worked pro bono on the momentous Rosales slum housing case in which ICLC secured $1.9 million for 59 parents and children. Adam sits on the Los Angeles County Citizens’ Committee on Economy and Efficiency and the Board of Directors for the ACLU of Southern California. He previously served as president of the boards of the Housing Rights Center of Southern California and the Immigration Center for Women and Children, and has taught economics and political science at East Los Angeles College. Adam is also a former board member of the Fair Housing Council of the San Gabriel Valley and the Center for Progressive Leadership. In 2009, the Los Angeles Daily Journal named Adam one of the top 20 attorneys in California under the age of 40.

Adam received a B.A. In International Relations from Pomona College, an M.A. In Economics from Claremont Graduate University, and a J.D. from University of California at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. Adam and his wife Aman Thind live in South Pasadena. They enjoy playing soccer and spending time with their two young children.

Juliet Arganaraz
Director of Finance and Administration
Bio

.

Maria Badillo
Paralegal
Homelessness Prevention
Bio

Maria Badillo joined the Shriver Homelessness Prevention Team in 2013 as a paralegal where she assists clients defend against unlawful detainers. Ms. Badillo previously worked as a Coordinator at the Disability Rights Legal Center with its Cancer Legal Resource Center program. She understands the great importance of equal access to the justice system, which often means access to services and benefits that meaningfully improve quality of life. Ms. Badillo will complete her law degree from Loyola Law School in 2015 and obtained her B.A. from UCLA in International Development Studies.

Harry Batt
Director of Development
Bio

Harry joined ICLC as Director of Development in February 2010. Prior to joining ICLC, Harry worked for ten years at Public Counsel, the largest pro bono law office in the nation. Harry trained at the Midwest Academy, where he received a degree in community organizing. Harry previously owned, operated, managed and consulted for restaurants throughout the world and has contributed to the success of a diverse portfolio of brands, as well as national theme restaurants. He studied politics at Hebrew University and Brandeis University, and holds a B.S. in Information Systems from University of Phoenix.

Javier Beltran
Director of Homelessness Prevention
Homelessness Prevention
Bio

Javier joined ICLC in April 2008, as a Staff Attorney litigating habitability lawsuits and unlawful detainer cases. In October 2009, Javier became the Director of the Homeless Prevention Project at ICLC. He currently oversees ICLC’s Shriver Housing Project. Prior to working at ICLC, he practiced commercial litigation for an Orange County law firm and immigration law for a Sherman Oaks law firm. Before becoming an attorney, Javier worked as a school teacher in Los Angeles. Javier was born and raised in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Pico-Union and his close connection to the challenges and concerns of this community motivates his public interest work. He is a former board member and president of the Pico-Union Neighborhood Council. Javier received a B.A. in History from California State University Los Angeles and a J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law.

James H. Broderick
Of Counsel (Volunteer)
Housing Litigation
Bio

.

Daisy Chávez
Paralegal
Homelessness Prevention
Bio

Daisy joined ICLC in March of 2010 as a Tenant Organizer where she worked with tenants living in slum conditions and helped them advocate for healthier housing. Since the start of 2011, Daisy has worked as a paralegal for the Los Angeles City Homelessness Prevention Project. Daisy works with a team of case managers, attorneys, and support staff to bring holistic services to families facing eviction. Having lived on the outskirts of Downtown’s Skid-Row for most of her life, Daisy has a deep commitment to social justice. Before joining ICLC, Daisy taught Integrated Math and Language Arts to middle school students. Daisy graduated from University of California at Irvine with a B.A. in Comparative Literature and Political Science. Daisy also earned a Paralegal Certificate from Cal State L.A. Daisy is an active member of the NALEO Educational Fund and assists with their frequent “Citizenship Workshops.”

Ana Cisneros
Staff Attorney
Homelessness Prevention
Bio

.

Gloria Contreras
Screener / Receptionist
Homelessness Prevention
Bio

Gloria is a Screener and Receptionist at ICLC and has been with the organization since 2006. Gloria appreciates learning from clients as well as helping them. Prior to joining ICLC, Gloria served as Office Clerk at Elco Lighting. Gloria has a variety of artistic skills including painting, decorating, dancing, cosmetology, and hairstyling. She also enjoys outdoor activities like camping, swimming, and bicycling.

Francisco Covarrubias
Director of Tenant Organizing
Healthy Homes
Bio

Francisco began working with ICLC as a Tenant Organizer in 2011. As an organizer, he informs tenants about city programs, healthy homes practices, and legal resources. Prior to joining ICLC, Francisco organized with Unite Here Local 11’s Organizing Beyond Barriers summer program. Francisco also worked as a field representative for Assemblyman Mike Gatto where he gained valuable experience in government casework and constituent outreach. Francisco graduated from Pomona College in 2010.  Francisco is a native Angelino and enjoys exploring the many wonders of the city.

Lucy Garcia
Paralegal
Housing Litigation
Bio

.

Kate Glaspey
Staff Attorney
Homelessness Prevention
Bio

Kate Glaspey started working with Inner City Law Center in 2014. Before becoming an attorney, Kate worked as a volunteer with a variety of organizations and realized her passion for homelessness prevention in Los Angeles. Kate attended Southwestern Law School to further her impact in her community and during her time there worked for a number of public interest organizations including Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Disability Rights Legal Center, and Center for Civic Mediation. After she got her B.A. at the College of Santa Fe in vocal performance, she sang professionally with a Brazilian band, lived for extended periods of time in Brazil, Italy, and Austria, and dedicated herself to community work. Kate is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian and enjoys using her languages to serve diverse populations.

Amos Hartston
Chief Counsel & Director of Legal Services
Bio

Amos joined ICLC as Chief Counsel and Director of Legal Services in May 2011, and oversees all of ICLC’s legal projects including Housing Litigation, Homelessness Prevention, and the Homeless Veterans Project as well as the Shriver Housing Project, Housing and Public Benefits advocacy, tenant organizing, and housing policy. Prior to joining ICLC, Amos practiced for 14 years with the international law firm Latham & Watkins LLP. Between 2004 and 2011, Amos split his time between his commercial litigation practice and serving as Pro Bono Counsel, overseeing Latham’s worldwide pro bono efforts including the provision of more than 1.3 million hours of free legal services valued at more than $500 million between 2004 and 2010. Amos helped Latham’s pro bono practice double to more than 250,000 hours per year, receiving numerous awards and becoming one of the most respected pro bono programs among private law firms. His commercial litigation practice focused on intellectual property and complex business disputes, in both state and federal court. Amos sits on the boards of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation. Amos received his B.A. from the University of California Santa Barbara and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Jon Killoran
Equal Justice Works Legal Fellow Sponsored by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Homeless Veterans
Bio

A 2013 graduate of Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, Jon joined ICLC as an Equal Justice Works Legal Fellow working with the Homeless Veterans Project. Jon started a medical legal partnership with the West Los Angeles Veteran’s Hospital and works with veterans who are patients in the VA’s homeless primary care clinic. During law school, Jon clerked at the Northwest Justice Project where he helped low-income residents access state healthcare benefits. Jon also externed at Mental Health Advocacy Services and the Disability Rights Legal Center. Prior to law school, Jon was a Jesuit Volunteer working as a case manager and operations supervisor at a homeless shelter in Spokane, Washington.

Amy Kimbel
Paralegal / Advocate
Healthy Homes, Homelessness Prevention, Public Benefits, & Homeless Veterans
Bio

Amy joined ICLC in August 2011.  At ICLC, Amy splits her time between landlord/tenant advocacy and providing paralegal support to the Homeless Veterans project. She enjoys helping clients understand their tenancy rights and negotiating on their behalf with larger institutions. Prior to joining ICLC, Amy worked as a paralegal doing plaintiff’s side employment litigation and nonprofit immigration work.  Amy majored in Spanish at Yale University. After graduation, she lived and did development work in a community on the outskirts of Mexico City. Amy lives in South Los Angeles and works with her church to bring transformation to her neighborhood.

Lorraine Lopez
Senior Staff Attorney
Homelessness Prevention
Bio

Lorraine joined ICLC in October 2009.  For the past two years Lorraine has been a Staff Attorney in the Homelessness Prevention Project representing individuals and families who are at risk of losing their housing. Lorraine participates in several tenants’ rights clinics including the Koreatown Tenants Defense Network.  Prior to joining ICLC, Lorraine worked for two years at Eviction Defense Network (EDN). Prior to EDN, Lorraine was an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago where she provided representation and community outreach programs for participants in the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Lorraine received her J.D. from Tulane University Law School in 2005, and her B.A. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2001.

Sofia Lopez
Executive Assistant
Bio

Sofia joined ICLC in January 2013. Prior to joining ICLC, Sofia ran operations for a small digital education company and helped run the largest operational office at OneLegacy – the nation’s largest organ procurement organization. Sofia’s interest in non-profits sparked when she began working with local communities while pursuing her undergraduate degree at California State University, Los Angeles. She received her BA in Cultural Anthropology in 2010.

Yvette Lopez
Paralegal
Housing Litigation
Bio

South Central Los Angeles exposed Yvette Lopez to inequality and injustice at an early age. The experience of marginalization resulting from one’s socioeconomics, race, and gender redefined her objective and desire to make a difference. Seeking an education, Ms. Lopez received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, a Master’s Degree in Legal Studies, and an American Bar Association Paralegal Certificate from University of La Verne. Having worked with various law firms such as Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley LLP, Fernandez and Lauby LLP, Mansell and Mansell LLP, and Alder Law PC, allowed Ms. Lopez to be mentored by some of the greatest attorneys in the country. With an extensive legal background in Employment Law, Probate Law, Civil Law, Criminal Law, Family Law, Personal Injury, and Entertainment Law, Ms. Lopez has become an asset to Inner City Law Center since joining the organization in 2013. Ms. Lopez will continue to pursue her legal education while donating her time to the charitable causes close to heart.

Kara Mahoney
Staff Attorney
Homeless Veterans
Bio

Kara joined ICLC in September 2012 as an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow for the Homeless Veterans Project. Kara is a 2012 graduate of USC Gould School of Law and earned an A.B. from Georgetown University. During law school Kara clerked in the probate department of the Los Angeles Superior Court for the Honorable Michael Levanas, and at ICLC, where her determination to advocate on behalf of underrepresented veterans grew, and was a fellow in the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics, researching the pervasive nature of psychotropic medications in the armed forces. Kara also worked in USC Law’s Immigration Clinic where she represented clients seeking asylum and other forms of relief after escaping persecution in their home countries.

Wanda Martin
Development Associate / Grants Manager
Bio

Wanda joined ICLC as Development Associate/Grants Manager in October 2012. Before coming to ICLC, Wanda was a faculty member at the University of New Mexico, where she taught proposal writing, administered writing programs, and created the Teachers’ Institute, a professional development program for K-12 teachers. She is the co-author, with Valerie Thomas, of Proposals for Action, a proposal-writing textbook scheduled for publication with Oxford University Press in 2014. Wanda earned her BA in Theatre at Indiana University and her MA and Ph.D in English at the University of Louisville. Since 1989, she has been involved with alternative dispute resolution, mediating conflicts in workplaces and small claims courts, facilitating contentious meetings on public issues, and coaching novice mediators in training.

Colleen Mullen
Loyola Law School Post-Grad Fellow
Housing Litigation
Bio

Having externed with ICLC as a law student, Colleen happily returned to ICLC as a Loyola Legal Fellow in September 2014. Colleen primarily works in the housing litigation unit to preserve decent, affordable housing for low-income communities throughout Los Angeles. Colleen is a 2014 graduate of Loyola Law School, which she attended as a Public Interest Scholar. While in law school, Colleen worked for Public Counsel to provide legal advice to pro per litigants in federal court, externed for Hon. Gary Klausner in United States District Court, Central Division, and worked at Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris & Hoffman on international human rights cases. Before attending law school, Colleen worked as a Graduate Fellow for the JusticeCorps program, providing access to justice to underrepresented and underserved communities.

Ami Nguyen
Staff Attorney
Homelessness Prevention
Bio

.

Cristina Olvera
Office Manager
Bio

.

Ashley Parris
Senior Staff Attorney
Housing Litigation
Bio

Ashley’s passion for fighting for those who have been wronged brought her to ICLC in September 2011. Prior to joining ICLC, Ashley spent six years as a trial attorney at the R. Rex Parris Law Firm, litigating catastrophic injury cases, with a specialty in pain syndromes. Ashley was recognized in 2011 as one of the Daily Journal’s Rising Stars. Ashley is a member of The Consumer Attorneys of California and Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles, and a Past President of the Antelope Valley Bar Association. Ashley is the youngest-ever graduate of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer’s College. She frequently lectures and teaches on the study of facial expressions and detecting deception. She attended Pepperdine University School of Law, where she was a member of the school’s trial team. During law school, Ashley worked for California Court of Appeals Justice Margaret Grignon, and in 2004, she worked in newly-elected Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Office of Legislative Affairs. Ashley grew up in Lancaster, California, on the north end of Los Angeles County. Ashley is proud to be part of ICLC’s signature slum housing department where she can use her skills, experience and tenacity to stop negligent landlords in our city.

Sonia Pflaster
Staff Attorney
Housing Litigation
Bio

Sonia joined ICLC in 2010 as a Staff Attorney in an eviction defense project where she quickly discovered the value of representing tenants against abusive landlords. The daughter of two plaintiffs attorneys, Sonia is driven by a fierce passion to serve the mistreated. A native of Santa Monica, Sonia attended UC Davis, where she graduated with highest honors in 2005. Sonia worked at RAND before heading to Harvard Law School in 2006.  At Harvard, Sonia was selected as an Equal Justice Works fellow in 2007, summered at Morrison and Foerster, and volunteered for Public Counsel and the Los Angeles Public Defenders Office. During her second and third year at Harvard, Sonia served as a member of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, a 30-hour-a week, two-year clinical program where she represented battered women in divorce and custody proceedings. Following graduation, Sonia obtained trial training as an attorney-trainee at the Federal Defenders of San Diego. Sonia enjoys empowering tenants and holding negligent and malicious landlords liable.

Dianne Prado
Senior Staff Attorney
Homelessness Prevention
Bio

Dianne joined ICLC in August 2012 to work with the Homelessness Prevention Project where she litigates on behalf of individuals and low-income families who are at risk of losing their housing. Before joining ICLC, Dianne was a staff attorney at the Eviction Defense Network (EDN) where she protected the housing rights of the low income communities. Prior to EDN she worked for the Law Office of Elena I. Popp which specializes in eviction defense. Dianne is a member of the National Lawyers Guild and participates in several tenant’s rights clinics including the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. Dianne holds a B.A. in Criminology, Law, & Society from UC Irvine and a J.D. from Western State University College of Law.

Eric Quizhpi
Tenant Organizer
Healthy Homes
Bio

Eric joined ICLC as a Tenant Organizer in June 2014. He works with tenants living at properties with severe habitability issues, informing them about healthy homes practices, their legal resources, and the Rent Escrow Account Program. Prior to working at ICLC, Eric interned at the Coalition for Economic Survival, where he first gained exposure to housing advocacy and tenant outreach. He continued his activism work by collaborating with doctors at Cedars Sinai Medical Center; at Cedars, he helped translate cognitive therapy workbooks from English into Spanish for Los Angeles’ disenfranchised, Spanish-speaking, HIV-positive community. Eric is originally from Brooklyn, New York and graduated from Occidental College in May 2014 with a degree in History and a minor in Politics.

Jenniffer Rojas
Paralegal / Advocate
Bio

Jennifer joined ICLC as Executive Assistant in 2009.  Jenniffer Rojas graduated from Pomona College in 2009 with a dual-degree in Spanish Literature and Public Policy Analysis, with a concentration in Sociology.

Fely Soto
Tenant Organizer
Healthy Homes
Bio

Fely joined ICLC as a Tenant Organizer in April 2011. Fely educates tenants about habitability issues through the Rent Escrow Account Program to promote safe and healthy housing.  She comes to ICLC with three years of tenant organizing experience with the Coalition for Economic Survival. Prior to CES, Fely owned, operated and managed a catering and restaurant business in Lynwood, CA. Her success as an entrepreneur allowed her to contribute to her community in a personal manner by providing work experience and culinary knowledge to underprivileged teens.

Jose Luis Surio
Tenant Organizer
Healthy Homes
Bio

Jose Luis Surio joined ICLC in 2014 as a Tenant Organizer. He educates tenants about healthy housing through the Rent Escrow Account Program. As someone who grew up in similar conditions, Jose Luis can connect with our clients through those firsthand experiences. Jose is a mentor for Youth Mentoring Connections where he mentors high school students and volunteers. These experiences have empowered Jose Luis educate others about how to live in safer housing and protect their rights as tenants.

Waldo Tapia
AmeriCorps Legal Fellow
Homeless Veterans
Bio

Waldo joined ICLC in September 2013 as an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow for the Homeless Veterans Project. Prior to joining ICLC, Waldo worked as a Graduate Research Fellow for Professor David Jung at the Public Law Research Institute, part of UC Hastings’ Center for State and Local Government Law. Waldo earned his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside. During law school Waldo externed at the San Francisco Youth Guidance Center under the Honorable Kathleen Kelly, was a law clerk at the Equal Rights Advocates, and interned at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. He also worked at the Hastings Workers’ Rights Clinic where he was able to provide legal assistance to low-income workers. Waldo’s interest in working with the veteran community stems from his previous internship at the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Services, his work as an Honor Guard at the Riverside National Cemetery, and from his military service in both the California Army National Guard and the United States Army.

Melissa Tyner
Senior Staff Attorney
Homeless Veterans
Bio

Melissa joined ICLC’s Homeless Veterans Project in 2009. As a Senior Staff Attorney, Melissa advocates for the rights of homeless veterans to receive the benefits and care they are promised and wrongfully denied. Melissa started the first legal clinic aimed at serving female veterans and is a recognized expert in the legal issues involving the Department of Veterans Affairs that female veterans face. Melissa’s work has been featured on National Public Radio, BBC, and several other media outlets. Prior to joining ICLC, Melissa worked at Disability Rights California and assisted people whose disability benefits had been wrongfully terminated. Prior to joining Disability Rights California, Melissa was a law clerk at Public Counsel where she advocated for children with disabilities in foster care whose health benefits were being reduced.

Estephanie Villalpando
Paralegal
Housing Litigation
Bio

Estephanie joined ICLC in July 2010 as a Paralegal for a short-term eviction defense project.   When the project ended, Estephanie became a Tenant Organizer.  She is currently a Paralegal in the litigation department, assisting with complex habitability litigation.  Prior to joining ICLC, Estephanie volunteered at the Santa Monica Self Help Center, where she helped pro per litigants with a variety of legal matters, including eviction defense.  She also volunteered for the Coalition for Economic Survival in its West Hollywood tenants’ rights clinic. Estephanie received a B.A. in political science with a minor in education from UCLA. Estephanie plans to attend law school and pursue a public interest legal career.

Rebecca Watson
Staff Attorney
Homelessness Prevention, Public Benefits
Bio

Rebecca Watson joined ICLC in May 2013 as a Staff Attorney and represents clients who are HIV positive in maintaining their housing and public benefits. Prior to joining ICLC, Rebecca worked at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County for two years where she staffed a Medical Legal Partnership helping patients at a health clinic resolve their legal problems. Rebecca is a 2011 graduate of the University of Washington School of Law which she attended as a Gates Public Service Law Scholar. During law school, Rebecca clerked at the Western Center on Law and Poverty and at the Northwest Justice Project. Rebecca spent three years with Witness for Peace in Mexico and Cuba where she taught U.S. citizens about the negative impacts of U.S. foreign policy in the region and has spent time as a volunteer in Guatemala. Rebecca is a proud graduate of Macalester College where she studied Anthropology and History.

Staff photos courtesy of Gabor Ekecs