FBA San Diego - Board of Directors (2024)
President of Board
Blake Currey is a Career Judicial Law Clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Elected to the San Diego FBA’s Board of Directors in 2020, Blake served as the President-Elect in 2023 and as the Vice President of Public Relations in 2021 and 2022. In his public relations role, he jumpstarted the FBA’s award-winning Monthly Update Series and established the Public Relations Committee—which produces the organization's Member Spotlight Series, Judicial Profiles, and other content. Previously, Blake contributed to the Special Events Committee and the Law Clerk Committee in 2019 and 2020. Born and raised in San Diego County, he earned his B.S. in finance from San Diego State University and received his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law. Blake began his involvement with the FBA as a finalist in its 17th Annual Thurgood A. Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition held in Washington, D.C.
Kim Gregg serves as Career Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Anthony J. Battaglia, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of California. Prior to clerking for Judge Battaglia, Kim joined the U.S. Department of Justice through the Attorney General’s Honors Program as an Attorney Advisor for the Executive Office for Immigration Review, Miami Immigration Court. Kim was born in the Philippines and raised in Harlingen, Texas, but has called San Diego home since her family’s move there in 2011. Kim earned her law degree and graduated valedictorian from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2017. She served as the San Diego FBA’s VP of Legal Education for two years and currently serves as President-Elect. In 2023, Kim was one of five recipients of FBA National’s Younger Federal Lawyer Award. In addition to her role with the FBA, she is a member of the Louis M. Welsh Inn of Court and Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego.
Betsey Boutelle is an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where she represents the United States in a wide array of federal civil cases at the trial and appellate levels. Prior to joining the government, Betsey was an employment litigator at DLA Piper LLP and Paul Hastings LLP. Betsey has been a member of the J. Clifford Wallace Inn of Court and the Lawyers Club of San Diego. She has also served for several years as a member of the San Diego Federal Daycare Board of Directors, which works to ensure the continuous operations of the Barry Ted Moskowitz Childcare Center and to maintain federal families’ access to quality childcare and preschool. In 2023, Betsey was recognized with the National FBA’s Younger Federal Lawyer Award. She earned her B.A. in history and international studies from Yale University and received her J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Courtney Strange is an Assistant United States Attorney in the General Crimes Section of the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office. Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office, Ms. Strange was an Associate Attorney at the Law Offices of James F. Holtz, where she primarily practiced business and tort litigation in federal and state court. Ms. Strange earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University San Marcos and her juris doctorate from California Western School of Law. Ms. Strange externed for the Hon. Magistrate Judge Jill L. Burkhardt. Ms. Strange has been an active member of the San Diego legal community including as a member of the Federal Bar Association San Diego Chapter’s Membership and Public Relations Committees, Co-Chair of the Lawyers Club of San Diego’s Human Trafficking Collaborative, member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers San Diego Chapter, and member of the Louis M. Welsh American Inn of Court.
Vice President of Strategic Engagement
Sanjay Bhandari is a white collar defense and intellectual property trial lawyer at Buchalter. He is Co-Chair of the firm’s White Collar and Investigations Practice. He spent many years in public service in San Diego, as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Napoleon A. Jones, Jr., and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where he focused on corruption, securities fraud, and other white collar offenses. He also served in the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and Cornell Law School.
Vice President of Professional Advancement
Melissa Holmes is the Assistant Chief Deputy County Counsel for the Torts and Civil Rights Litigation Teams at the County of San Diego Office of County Counsel. In addition to assisting with the management of litigation teams, Melissa defends civil cases brought against the County and its employees. Since joining the County in 2015, Ms. Holmes has served as lead defense counsel in eight jury trials and one bench trial venued in the United States District Court, Southern District of California. Prior to joining the County, Melissa worked for private firms representing public entities in the Bay Area and served as a Judicial Law Clerk for a United States Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of California. Melissa also serves as a Lawyer Representative for the Southern District of California.
Vice President of Court Engagement
Jenn French is a partner at Lynch Carpenter LLP, where she represents plaintiffs in complex class action litigation involving privacy and data breach, employee wage and hour, consumer protection and civil rights, and a panel attorney with Appellate Defenders, Inc., where she serves as court-appointed counsel in criminal appellate cases. Jenn graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and earned her J.D. cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law. In addition to practicing law, Jenn is a freelance soprano soloist and a staff singer at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral.
Jenn is passionate about increasing access to justice and giving back to her community. She is serving her second term on FBA’s national Civics, Service and Outreach Committee and is the Chair of the California Lawyers Association’s Federal Courts Committee. Jenn also serves on CLA’s Executive Committee for the Litigation Section and its Racial Justice Committee. She is a member of the Editorial Board for the National Association of Women Lawyers' Women Lawyers Journal. Jenn is a Master in the Louis M. Welsh Chapter of the American Inn of Court and an active member of the San Diego County Bar Association. Finally, Jenn serves as pro bono counsel through Casa Cornelia Law Center, the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, and the Southern District of California's Pro Bono Panel.
Kelly A. Reis
Vice President of Public Relations
Kelly A. Reis is an Assistant United States Attorney in San Diego, where she is assigned to the General Crimes Section. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office through the Attorney General's Honors Program, Ms. Reis was a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Janis L. Sammartino. Ms. Reis earned her B.A., magna cum laude, in art history from the University of Nevada, Reno and received her J.D., summa cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law. While in law school, Ms. Reis served as the editor-in-chief of the San Diego Law Review and on the associate board of the school’s appellate moot court program.
Vice President of Legal Education (Criminal)
Armilla Staley-Ngomo is a trial and appellate attorney at Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. As a federal public defender, she represents both pretrial and post-conviction clients charged with committing criminal and immigration-related offenses before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to joining Federal Defenders, Ms. Staley-Ngomo worked as a federal public defender in the Central District of California and the District of Nevada, and as a litigation associate at Morrison & Foerster LLP and Caldwell Leslie & Proctor, PC (now King & Spalding LLP). She also served as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall, U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California.
Ms. Staley-Ngomo earned her B.A., magna cum laude, in Political Science and Spanish, from Whittier College. She received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and was an editor of the California Law Review and the Berkeley Journal of African-American Law & Policy. Ms. Staley-Ngomo is active in the San Diego legal community as a Lawyer Representative for the Southern District of California and Co-Chair of the Lawyers Club of San Diego’s Bench Bar Committee.
Vice President of Legal Education (Civil)
Hannah Ohara is a business and tort litigation attorney at Jones Day in San Diego. Hannah represents clients in complex civil litigation in a range of practice areas, including trade secret misappropriation, commercial disputes, antitrust, unfair competition, intellectual property, and consumer fraud. Hannah also maintains an active pro bono practice, representing refugees seeking asylum and assisting individuals facing domestic violence with applications for temporary restraining orders. Prior to joining Jones Day, Hannah served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Cathy Ann Bencivengo. Hannah earned her B.A., magna cum laude, in Communication Studies and Spanish from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Hannah is also an active member of the J. Clifford Wallace Inn of Court.
Vice President of Professional Engagement
Evangeline (Eva) Dech is a Colorado native who is a proud HBCU graduate, magna cum laude, from Xavier University of Louisiana. She moved to San Diego in 2015 for the beach and to attend law school at California Western School of Law, where was editor of notes and comments for Law Review and graduated summa cum laude in 2018.
Following graduation, Eva practiced consumer protection law at Kazerouni Law Group until she clerked for the Honorable Magistrate Judge Daniel E. Butcher from 2020 to 2022. She currently is in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Apart from legal work, she serves on the board of directors as the chair of the nominating committee for Just in Time for Foster Youth (an organization near and dear to her heart).
Vice President of Membership
Jessie Agatstein is an appellate attorney at Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. As a federal public defender, she represents clients at all stages of appeal and, as applicable, in post-conviction proceedings. She also chairs her office’s law student internship program. Before joining Federal Defenders, she was a fellowship attorney at Disability Rights Advocates; before that, she was a law clerk for Judge Marsha S. Berzon on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Goodwin Liu on the California Supreme Court. She attended Yale Law School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she received a Master in City Planning. She lives in Golden Hill, alongside her husband, dog, and urban chickens.
Vice President of Community Outreach
Blake Eaton is a trial attorney at Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. As a federal public defender, he represents clients charged with committing federal criminal and immigration offenses before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of San Diego. Prior to joining Federal Defenders, Mr. Eaton served as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable John B. Owens, U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He earned a B.A. in political science from the University of Texas at Dallas and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.
Vice President of Fundraising
Kristin Lahaszow is an associate with Jones Day, where her practice focuses on business and tort litigation. Prior to joining Jones Day, Kristin served as a Judicial Law Clerk to Chief Judge Dana M. Sabraw in the Southern District of California. Kristin is a graduate of San Diego State University and University of California Law San Francisco (formerly UC Hastings College of the Law). Prior to attending law school, Kristin worked as a criminal defense investigator for the County of San Diego Office of the Alternate Public Defender in both the adult and juvenile divisions. In addition to her role with the FBA, Kristin is a member of the Enright Inn of Court and serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Voices for Children.
Mary Cile Glover-Rogers
Immediate Past President