Alumni Network Newsletter

Table of Contents

Welcome from Malcolm Heinicke and Hailyn Chen

Alumni Spotlight 

  1. Interview of Associate Justice Joshua Groban
  2. Interview of Dr. Chantal Morgan D’Apuzzo
  3. Interview of California Solicitor General Michael Mongan

Alumni Lunch Series 

LA Alumni Reception Recap

New Alumni in Government, Academia and the Judiciary 

Firm News

  1. Recent Case Wins
  2. Recent Awards and Accolades

Welcome Hazel Zambrano, Alumni & Community Engagement Manager

Welcome from Malcolm Heinicke and Hailyn Chen

Malcolm Heinicke and Hailyn Chen

Welcome to the third edition of the Munger, Tolles & Olson Alumni Network Newsletter! We are very excited to share some fantastic firm and alumni news as we continue to expand the reach of our MTO alumni community.

This newsletter features stories from three MTO alumni who have distinguished careers in law and higher education. California Supreme Court Associate Justice Joshua P. Groban recounts his path to the highest court in the state. California Solicitor General Michael Mongan tells us about his day-to-day duties overseeing a vast team of legal professionals. And Caltech Associate General Counsel, Dr. Chantal Morgan D’Apuzzo, shares her experience transitioning to an in-house patent attorney role at her alma mater.

We are happy to report that our Alumni Lunch Series has been a big hit, and we will continue to invite MTO alumni to speak at our firmwide lunches. In November 2023, Derek Kaufman discussed how he transitioned from an MTO bankruptcy lawyer to his current role as counsel for TMZ. In December 2023, TikTok Senior Counsel Adam Gottesfeld gave an informative talk about legal issues in ad tracking. And in January, Beau Tremitiere shared his experience leading various advocacy projects as counsel for Protect Democracy.

We also share some recent litigation wins and firm award recognitions, as well as highlight several of our former colleagues who have started new roles in government and education.

As you may know, Kim (Coates) McDade retired in January after more than 30 years at MTO. Her retirement party was held at Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, complete with a scoreboard tribute! While Kim will be missed, we are excited to introduce Hazel Zambrano, our new alumni and community engagement manager. Hazel will spearhead our alumni network and community-building efforts, and she looks forward to connecting with you.

We are thankful to everyone who contributed to this edition of the MTO Alumni Network Newsletter and invite MTO alumni to contact us if they would like to be involved in future editions.

All the best,

Malcolm Heinicke and Hailyn Chen
MTO Co-Managing Partners

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Alumni Spotlight 

Interview of Associate Justice Joshua Groban 

Justice Joshua Groban

Retired Partner Jerry Roth recently spoke with California Supreme Court Associate Justice and MTO alumnus Joshua Groban. Justice Groban is one of seven justices on the court and was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2019. He previously worked as an associate in the firm’s Los Angeles office from 2005 to 2011.

Justice Groban, tell us a little about your extraordinary path to the California Supreme Court.

Actually, that question takes me back to MTO. When I was at the firm, I was very inspired by my colleagues who had been active in public service. I always noted the excitement in their voices when they reminisced about that work; it is what got them the most animated. On a lark, I walked into Alan Friedman’s office because I had heard he knew Jerry Brown and his sister Kathleen, and I said I want to work on Jerry Brown’s nascent campaign for governor. The next thing I knew, I was having coffee at the now-shuttered Pete’s Tavern with Anne and Jerry Brown, and it was that meeting that led me down this path.

I found out that Jerry Brown was very frugal and that there was no campaign staff to speak of except for the candidate, his wife, an intern and a dog. He asked me if I could help develop a position statement and prep him for the debates. I talked to Ron Olson about it, and with his encouragement, I took a leave of absence to be general counsel to the campaign. And as you know, Jerry Brown won. In fact, I was supposed to come back to the firm the Monday after the election, and I had documents for the next case I’d be working on messengered to my house. But Jerry called me and said, “It looks like we’ll win. Can you help me with the transition? Come work for me, we’ll figure out a title for you. And you can stay in L.A.; you don’t have to move to Sacramento.” That last part clinched it.

So sure enough, for the next eight years I was the senior adviser to the governor. I worked on judicial appointments, advised him on legal issues, accompanied him to conferences, worked on briefs, participated in moot oral arguments and recommended whether to sign or veto legislation. In fact, there were times when I was working on a daily basis with MTO alumni Dan Calabretta, now a district court judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, and Gabe Sanchez, now a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, both of whom were direct reports to the governor at that time. Often, I worked with MTO alumna Aimee Feinberg, now a California Court of Appeal justice, at the Solicitor General’s Office. There was a big MTO contingent.

I had no grand plan about becoming a judge. But I spent eight years thinking about judges, what it took to be a good judge, what it is like to be a judge and who will excel at it. We appointed more than 600 judges, and I probably interviewed more than 1,000 people for those positions. At some point, a light bulb went off in my head, and I thought becoming a judge myself was something I would like. At the very end of his administration, Gov. Brown told me he wanted to put me on the Supreme Court. So I was one of the very last appointments of the Brown administration. He nominated me, and a panel consisting of the chief judge, the attorney general and the senior appellate court justice confirmed my appointment. I was then on the ballot in the next election and was retained by the voters.

What a story, and so many MTO ties! Did you have to move to Northern California at that point?

No. Although the court is based in San Francisco under the state Constitution, I still live in L.A. and come up for oral argument once or twice a month. The rest we do online, a process that was one of the rare benefits of the pandemic.

Tell us a little about a day in your life.

Well, one unifying principle is the petition conference every Wednesday morning, when I go through pending petitions with my staff and then participate in a petition conference with my fellow justices. The rest of my days are a mix of talking about cases with my five staff attorneys, writing or editing my own opinions, and responding to those drafted by my colleagues. One unusual aspect of the California Supreme Court is that we circulate draft opinions before oral argument. We prepare responses, including our reservations, and we exchange a lot of memos responding to drafts. I do so much editing that my 9-year-old once asked me as I was working in my home office, “Daddy, why do you always type in red?”

Besides that, I attend speaking events and meetings on internal court business such as hiring, the library and the historical committee. I also spend time prepping for oral argument.

Many courts are divided along political lines these days. How do the members of your court get along?

I’m fortunate. We are very collegial; we disagree with each other, of course, but with a smile. For those disenchanted by the divisiveness elsewhere, they would find us to be seven dedicated people working together to try to get to the right answer. In fact, that’s my favorite thing about the job — my great colleagues, all with diverse backgrounds, who contribute uniquely, who are all great writers with great judgment. In sum, I would say it works as it should.

What do you miss and what do you not miss about MTO?

I don’t miss billable hours. I don’t miss urgent fire drills with huge time pressure. At the court, we have more time to think about things. I work the same hours as I did at MTO, but the time belongs to me. I don’t have a client determining how I have to spend my hours.

What do I miss about MTO? I have only six colleagues, and it’s primarily remote work, as opposed to having 150 or so colleagues. I miss popping into each other’s offices and talking at firm lunches or around the secretarial desks with super-smart, dedicated lawyers at the top of their game. Being on the court is definitely more isolated. Much of the time, it is just me in front of my computer.

Anything else you’d like to share with your fellow MTO alumni?

Just that the desire to dip my toe into public service came from my amazing colleagues at MTO. I learned from them that we all give back. That influenced me and my career, and I’m very appreciative of that.

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Interview With Dr. Chantal Morgan D’Apuzzo 

Dr. Chantal Morgan D’Apuzzo

Partner Miriam Kim recently spoke with MTO alumna Dr. Chantal Morgan D’Apuzzo, associate general counsel at Caltech. Dr. D’Apuzzo specializes in intellectual property and legal matters involving scientific and engineering research.

Dr. D’Apuzzo worked at MTO from 2010 to 2011, focusing on patent litigation at both the district court and appellate levels. She holds an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Princeton University, a doctorate in biochemistry from Caltech and a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School.

You received your doctorate in biochemistry from Caltech before law school. What made you decide to leave MTO and return to your alma mater?

I came to Caltech right after graduating from Princeton. When I was a second-year grad student, my adviser obtained a patent on protein design technology developed in our lab, which was my first glimpse into the world of patent law. Through a lot of informational interviews, I got excited about the prospect of becoming a patent attorney, which eventually led to law school 10 years after my undergrad.

I was at MTO barely a year when a position for a patent attorney who could also advise on issues related to scientific and engineering research opened in the Office of General Counsel at Caltech. Although I knew there was much more for me to learn at MTO — I hadn’t yet had an opportunity to go to trial — university counsel positions are extremely rare, and I knew another opportunity might not arise for another decade. With the encouragement of MTO alumnus and then-general counsel of MIT Greg Morgan, I made the leap to go in-house at Caltech.

It’s been 13 years since you left the firm and joined Caltech as an associate general counsel. What are your current responsibilities in this position?

Being in the same organization for 13 years speaks to how infrequently university counsel positions open up, and how much I enjoy my role. Our faculty members are extremely creative, and after all these years, I am still surprised by the novel, cutting-edge issues that I come across all the time.

Currently, I’m Caltech’s only patent attorney and manage the day to day of our patent ligations, as well as support our technology transfer function on patenting and licensing. I also support the research functions of Caltech, including the boards that review regulated research such as human subjects research, animal research and research with biosafety and biosecurity concerns, as well as the sponsored research group that manages funding from the government, foundations and others. Caltech manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA, and I advise on export control laws and research integrity at both Caltech and JPL. Of course, I have other miscellaneous practice areas, such as performing arts and filming on campus — it’s as if all lawyers in L.A. become entertainment lawyers at some time or another!

Caltech has been successful in obtaining a billion-dollar verdict and settlements against companies like Apple, Broadcom and Microsoft. Are you able to tell us about your role in any of these cases?

I’ve been involved with every single aspect of these Wi-Fi chip cases from the beginning. Specifically, when I arrived in 2011, I began working with the family of mature patents that covered error correction in coding, built relationships with the inventors and had to learn the complex [electrical engineering] technology. In addition to the pre-suit diligence, I managed outside counsel and worked with the inventors, corporate witnesses and experts. I have been involved in every aspect of the district court cases, appeals, inter partes reviews at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and settlements. We just resolved the last of the six cases in May and it hasn’t yet sunk in yet that it’s the end of an era.

What are some of the challenges or opportunities you see for higher education institutions seeking to protect their intellectual property?

It’s difficult, if not impossible, for universities to identify inventions where the costs of patenting will have been worthwhile in the future. Our faculty’s research is far ahead of the technology in the marketplace, and often is invented more than a decade before there is any commercial utilization. Also, since universities don’t compete in the marketplace, we may not know when our technology has been adopted into commercial products or services.

For example, the inventors of the error correction technology incorporated into the Wi-Fi standard had challenged themselves to approach a theoretical coding limit with the backdrop of communication with spacecraft in deep space in 2000. The resulting error correction technology was incorporated into the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Wi-Fi standard only many years later. The professor who led the research had since retired, and his students had graduated from Caltech and moved on many years before. It was one of the student inventors who alerted us to the fact that Caltech’s technology had been incorporated into the industry standard.

Is there anything you know as an experienced in-house lawyer that you wish you had known before you started?

I work in a group of 11 talented attorneys who support all of Caltech and JPL, so we are tasked with ensuring legal decisions are in the best interest of the institute and the lab as a whole, not just a particular client. Socializing strategy and seeking buy-in from all the appropriate stakeholders was an unexpected part of my job when I started.

Is there anything you miss or do not miss about MTO?

In law firms, the entire business is arranged to facilitate the attorneys doing their job. At my university, the business is focused on research and not at all structured to support attorneys. Some clients view counsel as providing a valuable service, and others see us as a hindrance to be avoided. It can take time and investment in relationships with clients to become a trusted thought partner and adviser.

As for MTO, I miss the firm’s culture, and in particular the encouragement of attorneys’ engagement with different organizations and communities in L.A. I also miss the large community of top-notch attorneys who were also fascinating people outside work.

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Interview of Solicitor General Michael Mongan 

Solicitor General Michael Mongan

Retired Partner Jeff Weinberger recently spoke with California Solicitor General and MTO alumnus Michael Mongan. Michael graduated from Stanford Law School in 2006 after two years working as a research assistant for the Senate Finance Committee. Following clerkships with Judge Merrick Garland, formerly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and Justice David Souter of the U.S. Supreme Court, he joined the Obama-Biden transition team and then became deputy counsel to Vice President Biden, where he worked on matters relating to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the selection and confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayer and Elena Kagan.

Michael worked in MTO’s San Francisco office from 2010 to 2014, when he accepted a position as a deputy solicitor general for the state of California. In 2019, Michael was named solicitor general, the position he currently holds.

Michael, it is great to catch up with you. For those not familiar with the position, could you describe your job as California’s solicitor general?

The solicitor general is appointed by the attorney general and serves as the chief appellate attorney for the California Department of Justice. The Office of the Solicitor General, which I supervise, has authority and responsibility for overseeing the attorney general’s appellate practice. We brief and argue significant appellate matters for the state and provide support and advice to attorneys in other parts of the Department of Justice when they are handling their own appellate matters. We also coordinate with other states in multistate litigation that we are involved with, and I supervise the training and work of the attorneys in our group. I also supervise the department’s Opinion Unit, which is similar to the federal Office of Legal Counsel.

We’ll get back to your current position in a minute, but when you went to law school at Stanford, were you intending to go into government service or private practice?

Actually, I spent a couple of years working on Capitol Hill before law school and thought I would wind up in public service, but I didn’t really have any specific goals in mind. After my two clerkships, although I enjoyed legal research and analysis, I also was still interested in public policy, so I joined the Obama-Biden transition team. That led to a position as deputy counsel for Vice President Biden.

What kind of matters did you work on in that position?

I had a pretty diverse portfolio. We did some typical government in-house counsel work, such as assisting staff in the Office of the Vice President with financial disclosures and ethics requirements and coordinating with the U.S. Department of Justice on litigation involving the office. But there was also a substantial policy component. I worked on legal policy issues before the National Security Council and advised the vice president in his capacity as president of the Senate on procedural issues related to the passage of the Affordable Care Act. I also worked on the selection and confirmation processes for Justices Sotomayor and Kagan.

How did you wind up at MTO?

Although the policy work was very interesting, I found that I missed the deep legal research and writing that I had experienced in my clerkships. Also, my wife and I wanted to return to San Francisco. I had previously interviewed at MTO for a summer associate position, but at that time, the San Francisco office did not have a summer program and we did not want to relocate to Los Angeles. When we decided to return to San Francisco, I called Michelle Friedland (now a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit) and she arranged an interview with the firm. MTO was the only firm where I interviewed.

Can you tell us what your experience was like at the firm during the four years you were there?

At first, I worked on several large matters, including one antitrust case involving Microsoft that was in a pretty intense discovery phase. After that case settled, I picked up additional projects, including some smaller matters where I was given more responsibility, including taking numerous depositions and arguing motions as a relatively junior attorney. I also became more involved in appellate work and was later given the opportunity to argue an important matter for the University of California at the Ninth Circuit. In other firms, that argument would have been handled by the partners on the case, but they pushed the client to allow me to do it, and it was a very valuable experience for me. I try to follow that example in mentoring junior attorneys in the Solicitor General’s Office.

What prompted you to join the Solicitor General’s Office?

I was still interested in public service but wanted to continue being involved with legal research and analysis. At the time, the office did not exist in its current form, but there was a movement in many other states to go to the federal model, where the solicitor general had direct responsibility for appellate matters. The then-California attorney general, Kamala Harris, wanted to go that route and hired Ed DuMont to create an expanded office with deputy positions. I thought this would be a good opportunity to combine my interests in public service and legal analysis, so I applied and was hired for a deputy position.

What changed in your duties when you were appointed solicitor general in 2019?

At that point, I had become the chief appellate attorney for the state, and as I mentioned, I also had managerial responsibilities for our entire group.

Have you had the opportunity to argue significant matters for the state since then?

Yes. Our office takes a lead role in briefing and arguing select appellate matters, with a particular focus on the U.S. Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit (especially en banc arguments). I certainly don’t argue all of those personally. As solicitor general, it’s important for me to make sure that the deputies on my team get argument experience in important matters, and I also need to leave time to carry out the many other responsibilities of my job. We have many discussions internally about how to assign specific arguments. But I continue to appear in court fairly frequently, arguing in the California Supreme Court, before en banc panels of the Ninth Circuit and before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Can you tell us a little bit about your experience there?

Sure. I’ve argued four cases in the U.S. Supreme Court since I was appointed solicitor general. The first case I argued involved the Trump administration’s attempt to rescind DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals], the immigration policy protecting children brought to the U.S. It was shortly before the pandemic, so the argument was in person. I then had two cases during the period when the Court was holding arguments over the phone, one dealing with a challenge to the Affordable Care Act and another seeking to strike down a California regulation allowing labor unions access to agricultural workers. On the Affordable Care Act case, Don Verrilli argued on behalf of the House of Representatives, and I coordinated with him and the MTO team in preparing for the hearing. I’ve more recently had another in-person argument defending a California proposition prohibiting the sale of pork products produced in an inhumane matter.

What were the differences between your live arguments and the arguments held over the phone?

As you know, the in-person arguments historically did not allow you to give much of an introduction before you were immediately interrupted by rapid questions from any and all of the justices in no particular order, sometimes speaking over each other. The phone arguments were much more structured to avoid the advocate and justices interrupting each other. You were allowed two minutes for an introduction without interruption, and then each justice in turn had the opportunity to ask questions without another justice breaking in. The Court has now adopted a hybrid process where you get a short, uninterrupted period for an initial argument, followed by questions from Justice Thomas, who, in the past, often did not participate in the questioning, then followed by a “free for all,” as in the past. Justice Roberts then gives each justice an opportunity to ask further questions in turn at the end of the argument.

What types of matters are currently occupying your time?

Our office is pulled into a wide variety of matters. To offer just one of many examples, we are very involved in Second Amendment litigation. I recently argued a case at the Ninth Circuit sitting en banc concerning a challenge to California laws regarding high-capacity magazines. And we are involved in many other gun control issues as well. And I of course have continuing management responsibilities and coordinate with our Attorney General’s Office and those in other states on multistate litigation.

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Alumni Lunch Series 

Derek Kaufman; Adam Gottesfeld; Beau Tremitiere

Between November 2023 and January 2024, we had the pleasure of welcoming three alumni to speak during our firm lunches. Learn more about Derek Kaufman, Adam Gottesfeld and Beau Tremitiere and what they have been up to since departing the firm.

Nov. 30, 2023 | Derek Kaufman (TMZ)

Derek began his legal career at MTO in 2006 and specialized in bankruptcy law. While at MTO, he founded the Munger Games, a beloved annual firm event that supports Food From the Bar, which he continues to host to this day. Reflecting on his time at MTO, Derek valued the firm’s inclusive culture and the opportunities it provided for meaningful contributions. In 2013, Derek made the transition to TMZ, focusing on entertainment law and First Amendment issues. His career path underscores the importance of finding alignment between legal practice and personal values, a principle he emphasizes in his advice to fellow attorneys.

Dec. 14, 2023 | Adam Gottesfeld (TikTok)

Adam worked at MTO from 2014 to 2016 as a transactional lawyer before transitioning to roles at OpenAds and then eventually landing at TikTok as senior counsel in 2018. He credits MTO for shaping his ability to work with clients and communicate effectively. Adam discussed the legal challenges posed by ad-tracking pixels, exploring both the complexities and potential solutions in this realm. He also noted that the regulations continually evolve and vary across states and countries, which adds another layer of complexity to ensure TikTok’s compliance with the law.

Jan. 11, 2024 | Beau Tremitiere (Protect Democracy)

Beau joined MTO in January 2020 and was a founding member of the Combatting Systemic Racism Task Force, which focused on voter protection initiatives during the 2020 election. In 2022, he joined Protect Democracy, a bipartisan organization whose mission is to safeguard American democracy against authoritarian threats and to advocate for electoral reform to ensure a sustainable political system. In his role, Beau engages in impact litigation and other forms of advocacy, including policy development and strategic communications. More recently, he has focused on state court litigation to challenge anti-fusion voting laws.

Join Us Virtually for Our Upcoming Alumni Speaker Event!

Cathleen Hartge, General Counsel – Runway
Thursday, July 25, at 12:30 p.m. PT

The alumni speaker series features alums who share their inspiring stories, insights and MTO history with our community. All alumni are welcome to join the lunch talks remotely. Some talks are eligible for CLE credit. Our goal is to provide valuable knowledge and insights to help fulfill your educational needs.

To register for an upcoming event, email Don’t miss out on this opportunity to stay connected and be an active part of our thriving alumni network.

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LA Alumni Reception Recap

We were thrilled to host our inaugural MTO Alumni Reception on Jan. 11 at our Los Angeles office. The event was a great success, with nearly 90 guests in attendance. Name Partner Ron Olson and Firm Chair Brad Brian delivered speeches and current and former MTO colleagues shared stories and made connections.

We look forward to hosting more alumni events in the future!







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New Alumni in Government, Academia and the Judiciary

Kyle Mach

Partner, 2014-2024; Associate 2011-2014

Kyle Mach was appointed to serve as deputy director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition in January. Prior to his appointment, Kyle worked in MTO’s San Francisco office, where his practice focused on antitrust litigation.

Aimee Feinberg

Of Counsel, 2023-2024; Associate, 2005-2011

Aimee Feinberg was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to serve as an associate justice of the Third District Court of Appeal in January. Before taking the bench, Aimee worked in MTO’s San Francisco office, where her practice focused on appellate litigation and regulatory proceedings.

Brianne Holland-Stergar

Associate, 2022-2024

Brianne accepted a Civil Justice and Innovation Fellowship from the Deborah L. Rhode Center at Stanford Law School in February. At MTO, Brianne worked in the firm’s Los Angeles office, where her practice focused on business litigation and pro bono matters.

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Firm News

We are delighted to share some of MTO’s recent case wins and accolades for the important work that we do in the courtroom and community. To read more recent news, view all our full News highlights.

Recent Case Wins

In January, as a direct result of MTO’s historic appellate victory at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Grayscale Investments v. SEC, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved the first U.S. spot bitcoin exchange-traded products in a watershed moment for the digital currency industry.

In February, MTO secured a significant appellate victory when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a challenge to race-neutral admissions policies that aim to increase the diversity of students at a renowned high school in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Members of MTO’s securities litigation group earned a shout-out in The American Lawyer’s “Litigator of the Week” column for securing the complete dismissal of a securities class action against “smart window” manufacturer View Inc. in April.

In May, MTO secured a landmark appellate victory for Plains All American Pipeline when the California Second District Court of Appeal issued a published opinion upholding a trial court’s decision to deny virtually all restitution claims stemming from a 2015 oil spill in Santa Barbara. The Court of Appeal’s decision is significant because it limits the scope of non-probationary restitution in California to crime victims who are directly affected by the crime and who provide individual claims and evidence of loss.

MTO, in partnership with the ACLU Foundation of Southern California and the UC Irvine School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic, achieved a significant victory in May for immigrants’ rights when a federal court ruled that the use of so-called “knock and talks” by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the purpose of arresting individuals is unlawful and unconstitutional. The ruling will curb ICE’s deceptive “knock and arrest” practices and provide meaningful relief to the class and the broader Southern California community.

In June, an MTO team earned a runner-up recognition in The American Lawyer’s “Litigator of the Week” column after winning summary judgment in a securities class action facing Intel Corporation related to the 2019 merger between Cloudera, Inc. and Hortonworks, Inc.

Recent Awards and Accolades

MTO was recognized by Law360 as a winner of the 2023 Securities Practice Group of the Year award. The annual awards honor attorney teams in 36 distinct practice areas that were behind litigation wins and major deals that resonated throughout the legal industry over the past year.

Public Counsel named MTO the recipient of the 2023 Law Firm Pro Bono Award in recognition of our significant commitment of time and talent to Public Counsel in impact litigation and other pro bono matters.

For the eighth consecutive year, MTO earned the highest possible score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2023-2024 Corporate Equality Index, which measures corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality.

MTO received a total of 54 rankings in the 2024 Chambers USA and Chambers Global guides, including 39 individual attorney rankings and 15 department rankings. The annual rankings from Chambers and Partners are based on evaluations of individual lawyers and firm practice areas based on several factors including legal impact, opinions from external market sources and direct feedback from clients.

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Welcome MTO’s New Alumni and Community Engagement Manager, Hazel Zambrano

Hazel Zambrano

As the new alumni and community engagement manager, Hazel Zambrano is responsible for developing, driving and executing the vision and strategy of MTO’s alumni program and supporting the MTO Foundation.

Hazel comes to MTO from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, where she worked as an associate director for the development and alumni relations department. In that role, she oversaw and supported more than 33 regional, identity and industry alumni groups, serving 44,000 alumni worldwide. Hazel received her B.S. in business administration from Haas. She is fluent in Spanish and enjoys hiking, cooking and playing volleyball.

“I’m thrilled to be joining MTO, where I’ll be working on strategies and engagement opportunities to strengthen the firm’s vibrant community,” Hazel says. “Connecting people is my passion, and I’m excited to use my skills to create more opportunities for the MTO community to stay connected.”

Contact Hazel at or (213) 452-7224 to learn more about how to get involved with the MTO alumni community.

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