Like many of you, I became a lawyer by default. When I was twelve, I had surgery for scoliosis. That experience made me want to be a pediatrician. But, after getting through two years of calculus and chemistry at UC San Diego, a biology class at 8:00 a.m. three days a week, finally did me in. Unsure of what to do next, I took classes ranging from Introduction to Theatre Design to Caribbean Literature to Ethnic Images in Film before finally declaring a major in political science and a minor in writing. I then applied to law school. In my third year of college and with my fake ID in hand, I met my husband, Michael, at a Common Sense concert at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach.

With my medical career jettisoned and finding myself in law school at Loyola Law School, I externed for the Hon. Barry Russell of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, Los Angeles Division. I loved how bankruptcy involved so many different areas of the law and both litigation and transactional work. It seemed the best of all worlds. After graduation, I served a two-year clerkship to the Hon. John E. Ryan (ret.) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, Santa Ana Division and the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel. The first year I served as his trial clerk and the second year as his appellate clerk and was able to travel with him around the Ninth Circuit hearing bankruptcy appeals. Those of you who practiced before him or worked with him know he ran his chambers like a Marines boot camp and expected nothing but the best from everyone working for or appearing before him. However, he also took the time to get to know his law clerks and externs, eating lunch with us every day and doing movie reviews while eating bagels every Friday. I have never worked harder or learned so much, and I am forever grateful for that opportunity and what it taught me. In addition to swearing me in as a lawyer, he also officiated my wedding.

After my clerkship, I joined what was then Albert, Weiland & Golden, LLP, which then became Weiland, Golden, Smiley, Wang Ekvall & Strok, LLP after Theodor Albert joined the bench. In 2014, that firm split and I joined Smiley Wang-Ekvall, LLP, where I remain today.

I started my practice representing chapter 11 debtors, creditors’ committees, chapter 7 and chapter 11 trustees, and litigants in bankruptcy cases, also representing the occasional assignee or state court receiver. About five years ago, Robert Mosier called and asked if I wanted to try my hand with a federal equity receivership, representing him as the receiver in a regulatory enforcement action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Representing federal equity receivers is now as much of my practice as bankruptcy cases. I love receivership work, especially in federal court where we draw on the Bankruptcy Code when the result would be equitable and look elsewhere for guidance when it would not be. I find the work to be interesting, creative, and rewarding.

Influenced by mentors like Judge Ryan and Lei Lei Wang Ekvall who impressed upon me the importance of getting involved in the legal community and being a leader, I have been involved with a number of organizations including the California Receivers Forum, and presently serve on the

boards of the National Association of Federal Equity Receivers, the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum, and the Southern California chapter of the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation.

My family has lived in the Seal Beach area for almost thirty years. When not working, I enjoy cooking,
travelling, and going to restaurants and concerts. Our sons are 18 and 20 and go to Arizona State University and the University of California, Berkeley, so we find ourselves on quick trips to Phoenix and the Bay Area with some regularity. I like to say that instead of being empty nesters, we are bird launchers. We will see if they return to the nest. In the meantime, without kids at home, we have been going to lots of concerts. The next few on the calendar are Chris Stapleton, the Teskey Brothers, and Nathaniel Rateliff. In January, we will be seeing the Mood Lifters: A Tribute to Rush, featuring CRF’s own Ben King on guitar, at the Tiki Room in Costa Mesa. Occasionally, my work world and personal life collide!