Learn About LBAW


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The purpose of the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington is to represent the concerns and goals of Latino attorneys and Latino people of the State of Washington. To do so, we encourage and promote the active participation of all Latino attorneys and seek the involvement of Latino community, political, governmental, educational, and business leaders.

Efforts are made to encourage and assist Latino students and to recognize the needs and voice the concerns of Latino people and their communities. LBAW recognizes the importance of promoting Latino judicial appointments, encouraging respect for the integrity of the judicial system, and advocating for fairness and equality.

Further, it is our goal to become a unified and active participant within the legal community of the State of Washington and assist in providing solutions to the problems that confront our legal system and communities.


President: Aimée Sutton

Aimée Sutton has been on the LBAW Board for three years. Her first board position was as co-chair of the Judicial Evaluations Committee (JEC). She is now serving as President-Elect and is excited about continuing the important work LBAW does in and for the Latino community. Her day job is as a criminal defense attorney at the Marshall Defense Firm. She is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law, Aimée was a member of the Washington Law Review and served as its Associate Editor in Chief. Her undergraduate degree is from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. A Seattle native, she is also a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle. Aimée has lived and traveled extensively in Latin America and is fluent in Spanish.

Immediate Past-President: David Perez

David Perez is an attorney at Perkins Coie, handling complex civil litigation matters with a focus on consumer protection, constitutional law, and unfair competition. David maintains a robust pro bono practice that focuses on issues related to civil rights, constitutional law and voting rights. As part of his pro bono practice, David co-authored the Washington State Voting Rights Act, a state analogue to Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act. David is a past recipient of the LBAW President’s Award, and was named the 2015 Voting Rights Champion by the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King Country. David has served on the LBAW board for a total of five years, including two as chair of the Judicial Evaluations Committee, and currently serves as board president.

President-Elect: Verónica Quiñónez

Verónica Quiñónez is the owner of Veronica Quinonez Law, PLLC, located in South King County. Her firm offers bilingual mediation services and legal services in the counties of King, Pierce, and Skagit, primarily in the areas of family and child welfare law with a focus in representing legally free children in dependency matters. She enjoys working with at-risk children and providing affordable legal services for populations that are underserved. She is also a volunteer mediator at the Dispute Resolution Center of King County, and a lead mediator for their Small Claims Program. In addition to serving as LBAW’s Director of Clinics, is also the YLD Regional Representative and Deputy President (Region XVI) for the Hispanic National Bar Association.

Director of Legal Clinics: Zaida Rivera

Zaida Rivera is a Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney- Microsoft Liaison in the Seattle Office of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). She recruits and mentors attorneys and volunteers to represent unaccompanied children in immigration proceedings. Zaida previously served as the DACA Attorney for Northwest Immigrant Rights Project’s Seattle Office. Her work focuses on representing undocumented youth and unaccompanied minors with affirmative applications and in deportation proceedings. Zaida was born in Mexico and emigrated to the United States at 3 years old. Besides practicing law and coordinating legal clinics, she is passionate about inspiring youth to pursue a higher education. Zaida is an LBAW scholarship recipient and has served on the LBAW Board for four years. Zaida currently serves on the LBAW board as the Director of Legal Clinics.

Treasurer: Rocky White

Rocky’s is an attorney at Focal PLLC, where his bilingual English and Spanish practice focuses on corporate formation, business transactions, and protecting intellectual property for startups and small business owners. He helps entrepreneurs choose a business structure, navigate contracting and licensing issues, and raise investment capital. Rocky’s intellectual property work helps clients establish and protect their trademarks, copyrights, trade dress, and trade secrets.

Secretary: Virginia Mendoza

Virginia Mendoza is a legal assistant at Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier trial lawyers firm that specializes in representing plaintiffs. Virginia primarily assists on cases related to medical malpractice, birth injury, and wrongful death. As part of her responsibilities at SGB, Virginia administers and coordinates the SGB/LBAW Legal Clinic at El Centro de La Raza. The legal clinic received the WSBA’s 2015 Pro Bono Award in recognition of its efforts in providing pro bono services. This is Virginia’s first year serving on the board of directors. She currently serves as secretary.

VP of Programs and Membership: Debbie Ahkbari

Debbie Ahkbari is a commercial litigator with the Seattle law firm Helsell Fetterman LLP. Debbie represents both plaintiffs and defendants in commercial disputes, property disputes, insurance coverage and personal injury actions. In addition to serving on the Board of LBAW, she is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, King County Bar Association, American Bar Association, Washington Women Lawyers, and the Middle Eastern Legal Association of Washington. Debbie also serves as the co-chair for the Puget Sound Lawyers Chapter of the American Constitution Society. An alumna of Seattle University School of Law, Debbie mentors law students and is a member of the law school’s Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) steering committee.

Vice President of Communications: Mina Shahin

Mina Shahin advocates on behalf of individuals facing civil litigation arising from personal injury or financial difficulties. She represents plaintiffs in wrongful death, sexual abuse, products liability and premises liability cases. She also practices consumer protection litigation, providing assistance for individuals fighting unfair debt collection practices or seeking to file for bankruptcy. Mina graduated with honors from Seattle University School of Law, and was the inaugural recipient of the Justice Mary E. Fairhurst Public Interest Law Foundation Grant for her work at the Northwest Justice Project, providing assistance to indigent tenants facing eviction. She continues to give back to the community by providing pro bono assistance through the King County Bar Association’s Volunteer Legal Services. She is also a member of the Washington Association for Justice Diversity Committee.

Vice President of Social and Banquet Planning: Leticia Hernández

Leticia Hernández serves as an associate attorney for Whitaker Kent, LLP. Leticia provides legal support to the attorneys and assists with all family law issues related to client matters. She loves the law and is truly passionate about helping clients navigate the legal intricacies involved in their cases. She completed her Juris Doctorate degree from Seattle University School of Law in May of 2015. She is the Vice President of Social and Banquet Planning for the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington.

Vice President of Eastern Washington: Favian Valencia

Favian Valencia is an attorney at Sunlight Law, PLLC in Yakima, Washington, focusing on general practice litigation. Favian is the co-founder of the Central Washington Committee for LBAW, which connects communities across the state. This is Favian’s first year on the board as the eastern Washington representative. Favian enjoys spending time with his family as well as running, fishing and archery.

Vice President of Judicial Evaluations (Co-Chair): André Peñalver

André Peñalver is an Assistant United States Attorney in Tacoma, Washington, where he prosecutes federal crimes in the office’s General Crimes Unit. Dating back to his work in civil litigation, André has a passion for civil legal aid, for which he has volunteered his time as a pro bono attorney and raised money for the Campaign for Equal Justice. André joined the LBAW board in 2016 as co-chair of the Judicial Evaluations Committee.

Judicial Evaluations co-director: Andres Muñoz

Andrés Muñoz practices in the areas of criminal defense, dependency, estate planning, family, and education law at Carey & Lillevik, PLLC. His practice focuses primarily on advocating for youth and families. Prior to this, Andrés served as the inaugural Frances Perkins Fellow at the Unemployment Law Project. There, he helped many people gain their unemployment benefits at the administrative, trial, and appellate court levels. As a board member of the Latino Bar Association of Washington, Andrés serves as co-chair for the Judicial Evaluations Committee. Outside of work, Andrés enjoys spending time with family, cooking, bouldering, and playing electric guitar.

Past Presidents

2018 | Veronica Quinonez
2017 | Aimee Sutton
2016 | David Perez
2015 | Chach Duarte White
2014 | David Mendoza
2013 | Emily Gonzalez
2012 | Jennifer Sheffield
2011 | Fe Lopez
2010 | Patricia Lally
2009 | Nicole McGrath
2008 | Ciarelle Valdez
2007 | M. Lorena Gonzalez
2006 | Brenda Williams
2005 | Cristobal J. Alex
2004 | Cristobal J. Alex
2003 | Fred Rivera
2002 |
2001 | Lisa Castanon