General Counsel, Rock-It Cargo USA LLC, Los Angeles, CA 2009-2015
• Led all legal affairs and corporate governance matters for a global network of 47 privately held freight forwarding and logistics companies with an enterprise value of $300M+.
• Negotiated and led cross-functional teams in significant global M&A transactions ranging from less than $1 million to over $50 million, including the private equity acquisition of Company and acquisitions of companies in the U.S., Brazil, E.U., China, and Japan.
• Managed complex negotiations and decision-making in fast-paced global environment (e.g., filed suit in federal court to enforce lien rights against shipper while goods were on container ship; settled foreign claims which alleged damage to cargo upon delivery or for cargo lost due to Acts of God or penalties incurred with carriers when shipments were cancelled.)
• Directed litigation strategy, including management of outside counsel, coordination of positions and arguments, and settlement discussions in disputes over terms and conditions governing shipments, defense of a patent infringement suit which was settled in 14 months, and collection matters of $100,000 or more.
• Drafted and implemented key legal initiatives, including enforcement of licensing agreements with foreign agents, increased consistency in employment practices at newly acquired entities, and tracking of all corporate filings.
• Managed international and domestic commercial lease negotiations and agreements.
• Successfully resolved inquiries and investigations by governmental agencies, including TSA and Customs, which were closed with no action and one that was settled by payment of a minimal fine.
• Drafted anti-corruption/anti-bribery policies and implemented Foreign Corrupt Practices Act/U.K. Bribery Act training for employees and foreign agents.
• Reviewed liability exposure on insurance coverage issues, claims investigations, and responses to claims made. Submitted Board reports on status of claims valued at $100,000+. Instituted claims reporting and tracking system for cargo claims across all business units.
• Negotiated retention of, fees, and cost containment with outside counsel; regularly performed reviews and audits of outside counsel bills; negotiated reductions where appropriate. Pioneered use of flat fee agreements by Company.
• Managed intellectual property portfolio of 150+ trademarks and patents.
Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Roberta M. Yang, Los Angeles, CA 2005-2008
• Counseled police, fire, and emergency management departments at local cities and counties on homeland security contracting and compliance issues; worked with Metropolitan Transportation Authority and freight forwarders on transportation security policies.
• Consulted with public agencies on ethics and conflicts of interest issues and other matters under investigation.
Los Angeles Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Homeland Security 2001-2005
• Oversight of City’s response on and after 9/11 as Mayoral representative to City’s Emergency Operations Center; led messaging about City’s response and preparedness.
• Developed national and local policies related to transportation security, air cargo screening, and formation of U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration.
• Advocate for and managed City’s homeland security funding, successfully tripling funding over three years from $23 million to over $80 million; supervised Mayor’s Criminal Justice Planning Office grant staff of 12. Led initiatives on interoperability, mass casualty planning, and hazardous materials training to enhance first responder effectiveness.
• Initiated and coordinated governmental working group representing California’s high-threat regions under federal Urban Area Security Initiative to collaborate on best practices.
• Recommended and coordinated first-ever voluntary evacuation of high-rise building in downtown Los Angeles and fire department helicopter exercise focused on high-rise fire-fighting and rescue. Represented Mayor Hahn at Operation Pacific Cloud, a first-of-its-kind security tabletop exercise with leaders of the major entertainment and movie studios.
• Developed public safety initiatives to address police corruption, community policing, flexible work schedule for police officers, police and fire recruitment of women and underrepresented minorities, and the hiring of Chief William J. Bratton. Monitored LAPD compliance under federal consent decree.
Special Assistant City Attorney, Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office 1999-2001
• Reported directly to City Attorney James K. Hahn with oversight of Criminal Division; conducted management assessments to determine staffing and workload allocations.
• Managed federal police reform consent decree litigation governing LAPD compliance; liaison with Los Angeles Superior Court on prosecutor issues and integration of municipal court operations.
Deputy Chief Trial Counsel, State Bar of California, Los Angeles, CA 1991-1998
• Managed day-to-day operations of attorney disciplinary system including supervision of 80+ Bar prosecutors and investigators; focus on professionalizing the operations; achieved significant reductions in backlogged cases.
Senior Litigation Associate, Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe, San Francisco, CA 1988-1991
• Key litigation associate on environmental and criminal defense teams in Exxon Valdez oil spill litigation managing large-scale discovery and document productions involving the consortium of oil companies that operate the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. On discovery team representing national accounting firm in defense against accountant liability litigation and securities litigation.
• Utilized significant federal court trial experience to develop discovery and defense strategies.
Los Angeles Strike Force Special Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice 1985-1988
• First chair responsibility for investigations, grand jury presentations, and extensive jury trials involving extortion, bribery, loan-sharking, and obscenity. Utilized RICO Act, electronic surveillance, and Italian-speaking ability in courtroom.
Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Houston, TX 1983-1985
• Assigned to Criminal Division with first chair experience in federal jury trials; prosecuted drug trafficking conspiracies, bank and wire fraud, and theft in interstate commerce cases. Over 20 felony trials completed to conviction.