Selene Ramirez | Office Manager
Selene Ramirez is Lanzone Morgan’s Office Manager, highly respected for her bold, empowering and inspirational presence. Selene has been with Lanzone Morgan since its inception. Her commitment to Lanzone Morgan has resulted in an extremely supportive work environment, which functions successfully through communication and respect. Selene has always been a supporter of the underdog as she wants everyone to understand their worth. She considers being able to empower others and let them know they are worthy to be her most notable achievement in her career. Selene’s love for all people is evident through her goals: to change peoples’ hearts, lives and opinions, and to leave a strong impression on everyone she encounters.
Selene earned her Associate of Arts degree in Paralegal Studies in New York. She is also a Notary Public and a facilitator for a women’s ministry. Born and raised in Queens, New York, her childhood consisted of a loud and happy family who loved to dance in a city with bright lights, colorful seasons and endless opportunities. Her childhood’s impact on her life is unmistakable. She passionately gives a voice to the vulnerable and voiceless in her personal and professional lives. As an Office Manager, she gives endless growth and learning opportunities to other employees and is always ready to lend a helpful hand or give advice. In her personal life, she works with our community’s most underserved population, primarily through her ministry.
Significant career experiences are not the only opportunities which Selene considers important. She is grateful for her opportunity to learn from her mother, sister, life coach, spiritual mentor, and all empowering women. Jim and Anthony have also been big influences in her life as “they have poured support and loyalty into [her]. They are all about justice and it truly makes you feel like you are part of a real life Justice League. They are righteous.” Selene cannot imagine working with anyone other than Anthony and Jim. Selene plans to continue her work with them to make the biggest positive impact possible.
Selene vows to never stop helping others find their voice and fighting for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Over the course of her career at Lanzone Morgan, Selene learned the importance of preparing for retirement. Selene’s advice to others is to prepare for retirement now by getting your paperwork and trust taken care of and cultivating strong familial bonds because support from loved ones is imperative to successful aging and elder care.
Emily Jensen | Director of Client Relations
Emily Jensen is Lanzone Morgan’s dedicated Director of Client Relations. Emily speaks one-on-one with all potential clients to listen to their stories and discuss their potential cases. Emily’s passion leads her to work beyond the scope of her job. She often takes the time to help those whose cases we cannot take by finding referrals, resources and any additional information that will make it easier for the caller to seek help. Her B.S. in Applied Studies with an emphasis in Human Resources from California State University, Dominguez Hills, her Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies from Coastline Community College, and her status as a Notary Public illuminates Emily’s genuine passion for her career as she dedicated her education to learning how she can help others. She is also currently furthering her education by studying to become a certified senior advisor.
Born and raised in Long Beach, Emily’s adverse background allowed her to develop compassion and empathy for others. Throughout her teenage years, she worked as a lifeguard and taught swimming lessons and water aerobics to young children and the elderly. At an early stage in her career, Emily began working as a secretary at other law firms. However, as these firms mostly handled business litigation and contracts, Emily found it impossible to connect with her work as they were not helping others in the way that she would later find at Lanzone Morgan. After she began working for Lanzone Morgan, Emily quickly realized this was a workplace she could call home, a place with the same selfless intentions that she embodies.
Before discovering that she wanted to work at a law firm, Emily desired to be a mother. Now, Emily’s most notable achievement thus far in her career is being able to work as a professional at a law firm and balancing being a single mother to her son. She is truly inspired by hardworking and independent mothers like Paralegal Kristi Cole and Office Manager Selene Ramirez. Emily is not working for just one accomplishment throughout her career. Instead, her goal is to continue to help people by making them feel heard and giving a voice to the voiceless. She also wants to provide the necessary support for Anthony and Jim so they can help others in the pursuit of justice for victims. Daily, she strives to be compassionate, helpful and patient because she understands that each day will make a significant difference in another person’s life.
In the future, Emily can only see herself working at Lanzone Morgan. She loves working to help others and wants to spend her time making good and positive impacts where she can. She truly believes Lanzone Morgan is the law firm to do so, not only because she believes in her firm’s message, but also because she knows Anthony and Jim are hardworking and honest. She wants to remain working in an environment where people care as much about the clients and victims of elder abuse as she does and “when people are suffering, Anthony and Jim take it personally and find themselves driven with desire to fight for them.”
Kristi Cole | Paralegal
Kristi Cole is Lanzone Morgan’s most experienced paralegal with over 42 years working in the legal field. In addition to taking care of her daily tasks, Kristi also acts as a mentor to the other paralegals by providing assistance and guidance.
Kristi, born and raised in Buena Park, grew up in a stable and close community. Growing up, she looked up to her two loving parents. Kristi finds them inspiring as they were completely different, yet naturally complemented each other. With her parents offering the best of both worlds, their harmony inspired Kristi to want to be a mom her entire life. She now has 3 kids, in Washington and New York, whom she enjoys visiting in her free time.
At 14-years-old, Kristi became a candy striper at an SNF where she spent time sitting and talking to the elderly. At 18-years-old, she started working at her first law firm as a file clerk. She moved on to be a legal secretary, office administrator and, eventually, a paralegal. Among her 42 years of experience, almost 10 has been with Anthony and Jim.
Kristi entered the elder abuse field after her mother fell ill. Kristi’s family debated putting their mother in a SNF. Kristi, who knew Anthony prior to working at Lanzone Morgan, reached out to Anthony for advice. He informed her about the dangers of elder abuse, and the numerous ways that it can happen. From there, Kristi began her career in elder abuse.
When Kristi talks about why she is at Lanzone Morgan, it is evident that she is genuinely grateful for both the opportunity and the impact that they have as a firm:
“I initially came because of Anthony, and I stayed because I truly love what I do here. Coming in every day is a positive thing for me. This is what I want to do. I feel fortunate that I will be able to do this until retirement. Not a lot of people are afforded that opportunity. I believe that this firm will be here for a long time in the future, and I personally do not want to do anything else. How many people can say that they have a job helping people? We help people that otherwise will not receive any help from anyone.
Kristi sees the importance in an individual’s influence in an elder abuse situation. She wants to make sure that those who are working with victims and their families are passionate because “if you are not passionate about it, you are not going to be proactive in understanding why these people are sick.” Like Kristi’s parents who embodied complementary differences, she demands that those who work in elder abuse need to have passion to litigate in congruence with compassion for people.
Whitney Miyamoto | Paralegal
Whitney Miyamoto is a paralegal at Lanzone Morgan. In addition to her paralegal duties, Whitney often performs daily office tasks and acts as a welcoming and helping figure to newer attorneys or firm staff. Although Whitney is a quiet individual, she is extremely diligent and tenacious with her job.
Whitney grew up in the San Gabriel Valley before she went to college and received her B.A. in Sociology with an option in Criminology from Cal Poly Pomona and her Paralegal Certificate from Pasadena City College. Growing up, Whitney enjoyed playing basketball, hanging out with friends, and traveling with family, whether it be to Hawaii, Mammoth, or just a simple trip to the casino. Living in the SGV area, she’s maintained several close friendships from her childhood years and aspired to either be a basketball player (at 5’0) or in law enforcement when she got older. She often admired basketball players for being able to play the sport they loved for a career and looked up to law enforcement officials for keeping people safe and ensuring criminals were put behind bars. She also looked up to her older brother for his ability to learn things quickly and his vibrant personality. Now, she also finds inspiration in Attorney Amber Tham for her knowledge, work ethic and success, as well as Paralegal Kristi Cole for her dedication to Lanzone Morgan and her work ethic. Whitney also admires her parents for their generosity, kindness, and for just being good people.
Before deciding to work in elder abuse, Whitney interned at the Pomona Court House as part of the JusticeCorps program and also interned at the Jackie Robinson Community Center, where she helped local residents file restraining orders, unlawful detainers and financial assistance for utilities. She also interned at the Orange County Public Defender’s Office interviewing people at the courthouse.
Throughout her career, Whitney believes some of her most notable achievements are establishing loyalty, reliability and good work ethic throughout a highly credited law firm. She also prides herself on making a transition to a more cruelty-free lifestyle in the products she purchases and in her diet. While currently maintaining a Pescatarian diet, she eventually wishes to fully transition to an either vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. In her future, she wants to continue helping neglected animals by opening a sanctuary.
Whitney came to Lanzone Morgan in hopes of finding a career in helping others and believes Lanzone Morgan is truly like no other firm in their hard work and dedication in helping people. She also appreciates the way Lanzone Morgan always strives to do more for their clients.
Ketty Wehrhan | Records Manager
Ketty Wehrhan, Lanzone Morgan’s well-respected Records Manager, works to file documents, sort medical records and manage the distribution and organization of all files that are sent to Lanzone Morgan. She worked alongside the partners, Anthony and Jim, since the start of their career together at a previous law firm. Since then, Ketty has been with Anthony and Jim for over eighteen years.
Before working for a law firm, Ketty aspired and succeeded in becoming a pastry chef. She received her Culinary Arts degree from California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and spent the following ten years as a pastry chef. She then moved on to earn an Associates of Art degree in Liberal Arts from Los Angeles Harbor Community College which allowed her to further receive a certification for Dietetics from Long Beach Community College. Her background in food and medical experience inspired her Dietetics Certification. As a child, Ketty often accompanied her father, who had his own medical practice, on house calls where they visited elderly patients and nursing homes. She then worked with her mother, a nurse consultant at a hospital.
Ketty’s parents not only inspired her interest in the medical field, but they also instilled in her respect and compassion for the elderly. Growing up, she watched her father and mother take care of both of their mothers. At each house call, Ketty’s father taught her the importance of listening to others; he understood that patients may be lonely and simply want someone to talk to. Providing them with his time often made them feel better. From her father’s empathy, Ketty learned to have compassion and patience for the elderly.
In addition to her parents, Ketty also looked up to her grandmother. During hard times, Ketty often finds herself reflecting on her grandmother’s journey to provide her with the confidence and determination to endure difficult situations. Ketty tells her grandmother’s story:
“She migrated to the United States from Mexico when she was 14-years-old, escaping the Mexican American war. As a result of the war, she was orphaned and her aunts arranged for her to be sent by a box car to New Mexico, then California. In California, there was a man 20-years older than her who she was to meet and marry. That union produced eight children with my mother being the youngest. As she raised her eight children, she also ran a cantina/bar for laborers who worked the citrus fields in Corona, CA. When she died, she left behind $50,000 for each of her kids. I don’t think this was bad at all for a girl who could not speak English, did not have an education, married an older man with three overbearing sisters-in-law, ran a cantina, and bought/sold property.”
Ketty continues to find inspiration at Lanzone Morgan as she describes Anthony and Jim as crusaders for the elderly, taking on cases that most law firms will not take. She praises their integrity and finds herself amazed at watching two young lawyers grow and build a practice. She describes the partners as committed and sincere, loving their passion and genuinely demanding change in the way we care for our elderly people.
Cathryn Tran | Legal Assistant
Cathryn Tran is Lanzone Morgan’s diligent legal assistant and receptionist. Not only does she handle daily administrative tasks, but she also greets visitors, sends out correspondence to clients, and problem solves to help other firm staff.
When she is not working, Cathryn enjoys hiking, crafting, and spending time with her two children and husband. She also likes to give cooking advice for Vietnamese recipes and enjoys trying new food.
Cathryn attended California State University, Long Beach, where she received her B.A. in History. She also received her Associate of Arts degree in Paralegal studies, Associate of Arts degree in Human Behavioral Sciences and is a Notary Public.
Cathryn was born in Saigon, Vietnam. She and her family moved to the Philippines when she was 4-years-old and again to Westminster, California when she was 6-years-old. Cathryn describes Westminster as a predominantly Vietnamese community. Living in Vietnam, Philippines and Westminster, Cathryn noticed that she lived in communities that were often taken advantage of and wanted to have a career that would make her immigrant parents proud. Cathryn looks up to her parents who moved from Vietnam to California to give her and her family a better life. She knows that while they were limited in resources and finances, they provided as much as they could for their family. Cathryn also admires her parents for their bravery in moving to a country in which they did not know anyone.
In American and Asian communities, the elderly do not have much of a voice. Often, choices are made without their consent and they are overall a forgotten class with very little control over their standards of care. Cathryn points out that in Asian communities, it is a common thought process that working with a lawyer will make the situation worse. She wants to disprove that superstition by helping elders who are frequently taken advantage of since they do not know much about the law.
By working at Lanzone Morgan, Cathryn wants to spread awareness not only about the elderly but all communities that are overlooked and taken advantage of. She believes working at Lanzone Morgan will allow her to do that because of their supportive staff, reluctant to allow anyone to be forgotten. At Lanzone Morgan, Cathryn is most appreciative of the work environment where everyone treats others equally.
KASEY TAKAHASHI | Legal Assistant
In 2019, Kasey Takahashi joined Lanzone Morgan as a runner, handling various office tasks, acting as the point of communication between callers and staff, and assisting attorneys where needed. In 2020, she became a legal assistant, focusing on retrieving medical records and communicating with the facilities from which these records are obtained. She often works alongside intake coordinator, Emily Jensen, establishing the first step of our litigation process.
In 2019, Kasey received her B.A. in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is planning to attend law school and aspires to become a judge, like her uncle.
Prior to joining Lanzone Morgan, Kasey was completely unaware of the standards by which the elderly are treated. After working at Lanzone Morgan, she has gained a greater appreciation for elder law attorneys and tries to spread awareness among her peers. Growing up, Kasey’s grandparents helped take care of her and her siblings. Unfortunately, her two grandfathers have since passed away, but her two grandmothers continue to take life in their own hands, not backing down from any health challenges. She most admires their spirit, as her two grandmothers are both profoundly independent and have the greatest sense of humor. Kasey cannot imagine putting her grandparents into the current system in which the elderly are treated, and hopes that with honest work such as that at Lanzone Morgan, there will be a greater desire to implement change.
In her free time, Kasey enjoys playing basketball with friends, a sport she has competitively played since she was 4-years-old. She says basketball gave her the fighting spirit she exhibits today and believes that has a strong impact in her desire to fight for others in the courtroom.
At Lanzone Morgan, Kasey hopes to continue to develop her understanding of the ways in which she can implement positive changes to the elder care system. She believes her experience working at Lanzone Morgan has already surpassed her expectations of a workplace and is extremely grateful for the opportunities each of the staff provides for her to grow and learn.
BRIANNA Pike | Records Coordinator
Brianna Pike is part of Lanzone Morgan’s Medical Records team, efficiently sorting through the thousands of records that are sent to the office each day. She received her ADN from Golden West Community College and will receive her BSN at California State University, Long Beach in 2020. She also has an RN License.
Growing up in Garden Grove, Brianna’s mom was an ICU Nurse, inspiring Brianna to become a travel nurse. As her first CNA job, she worked at an Alzheimer’s care facility that was eye opening – the facility was terribly understaffed and the CNAs who did care, were not able to give the patients as much attention as they needed. Brianna reflects that the elders were confused, disoriented and rushed. However, this was not the only event that would open Brianna’s eyes to the low standards for elder care.
When Brianna was in nursing school, she heard of a serious fall her grandmother took while in the primary care of an alcoholic relative. Brianna, her brother and mother were already visiting her on the weekends, but Brianna decided it was best to move in at the risk of another serious injury under her alcoholic relative who often left her grandmother in the dark and failed at her basic needs. In addition to her grandmother’s lack of care, Brianna also learned how ill-informed public servants are regarding elder abuse. During one specific incident when police officials were involved, they simply told Brianna they had no resources for her and could not help her. When she tried hiring caregivers, Brianna found they would not work beyond a minimum level of care. Brianna quotes, “no one cares like family.”
Through her experience as a CNA, Brianna knows that RNs and LVNs have staffing ratios, but CNAs are scheduled based on a formula and cannot keep up. While she knows that understaffing is not the stereotypical idea of abuse, Brianna urges that it is not how those who cannot speak up for themselves should be left.
Brianna is at Lanzone Morgan because she wants to find a way to change the system in which elders are taken care of. As she has been exposed to the reality of elder care, she “cannot imagine putting [her] mom in any nursing home, and that is no way to have a healthcare system where we are scared to put our family in the system.” Brianna hopes that her job at Lanzone Morgan will help inspire her to take the legal route to be able to help elders daily.
SUZANNE Voas | Law Clerk
Suzanne Voas is currently a Law Clerk at Lanzone Morgan, expecting to earn her J.D. from Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law in May 2021. Prior to law school, Suzanne received a B.A. in English Literature from Arizona State University. Born and raised in Arizona, Suzanne grew up gaining inspiration from her family’s versatile careers. Her father, who is now a private investigator, worked in investigative journalism throughout Suzanne’s childhood, before serving as an investigator in the Capital Habeus unit for the Federal Public Defender. Her mother was an English professor, and her stepfather is an engineer and businessowner. In addition to her family, Suzanne also looks up to strong, intelligent women like Ruth Bader Ginsberg who, despite severe gender discrimination, graduated first in her class from Columbia Law School, was denied positions, and persevered to become the second woman ever appointed to the United States Supreme Court. Another inspirational figure for Suzanne is Michelle Obama.
Growing up, Suzanne wanted to be a pastry chef. During her undergraduate education, she worked for 5 years in a bakery where she began as a barista and eventually became an assistant pastry chef and front of house manager. Though she is now on the busy path to becoming an attorney, Suzanne still finds time to bake. She also enjoys the beach, yoga and spending time with Hal, her Golden Retriever.
When Suzanne decided to go to law school, she knew she wanted to make a difference for oppressed and underserved communities. Originally, she was interested in immigration law, but discovered the noble field of elder abuse law. Suzanne believes that elders are often overlooked and forgotten in the United States, and notes that people who have not had a loved one require special care or suffer elder abuse or neglect often overlook the elderly community altogether. Prior to learning about the elder abuse field, Suzanne—like many others—believed nursing homes, care facilities, and hospitals were generally safe and adequate, yet so many suffer from severe shortcomings.
In the future, Suzanne hopes to pass the bar and work as an attorney to help oppressed or forgotten groups in need. She thinks the law is an extremely powerful tool to make change for communities in need. Suzanne believes her law clerk position at Lanzone Morgan has been an excellent opportunity to expose her to the inner-workings of civil litigation and she feels grateful for the trust and responsibility she is given. She enjoys the work environment, where employees are treated well and have healthy work-life balance.
ALECSIS JULIET TAPIA | Paralegal
Alecsis Juliet Tapia, or “Juliet,” is Lanzone Morgan, LLP’s newest Paralegal and Notary. Juliet is currently working to obtain her Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies and is expected to graduate in spring 2021. After earning her A.D., she hopes to pursue a B.A. in Criminal Justice and eventually attend law school.
Growing up in Downey, Juliet’s family lived paycheck to paycheck. She was quickly confronted with the harsh reality of working-class families struggling to work their way up. She and her family often depended on others for assistance and survival in a time that made it feel as though success was impossible. When Juliet was 16-years-old, she gave birth to her son. From the beginning of her son’s life, she began working to ensure he did not grow up under the same conditions she did. She asserted that he will not depend on anyone, as her family has done in the past.
In addition to aspiring for a better life for her family, Juliet’s childhood has also allowed her to develop an empathy for individuals and families. Inspired by a high school Constitutional Law class and her personal experiences, Juliet knew she wanted a legal career. She wanted to help others who do not have access to vital resources and began working at an immigration and family law firm. She established her civil duty to assist and provide comfort to those in difficult times. However, Juliet’s desire to help others did not stop there. Juliet wanted to explore the various legal fields to discover more ways that she can help others. When she heard about Lanzone Morgan and our mission to seek justice for elders, she immediately applied for the position, and she is now able to help others in new ways. While Juliet is still curious about the different ways in which she can help others, she knows that she is making significant difference at Lanzone Morgan.
To date, Juliet’s most notable achievement is being a successful and full-time mother, student, and employee. As she works at Lanzone Morgan, the positive impact of having her son at a young age is coming to light. Often, Lanzone Morgan encounters circumstances and obstacles that do not come until later in life and therefore, were not prepared for early on. Families find themselves in even harder times because they were not made aware of the underlying systemic issues of elder care and were forced to manage these issues during their already difficult familial times. As a young mother, Juliet can provide a different perspective to our clients. She wants to change the way in which elder care is prepared for in early years. For other young parents, Juliet can offer them advice and assistance so that they may not be faced with such challenging times as their loved ones grow older. Juliet hopes to shape a more considerate generation to minimize, and hopefully eliminate, elder abuse and neglect as a whole.
LEE GROOVER | RUNNER
In 2019, Lee Groover became Lanzone Morgan’s Runner. Each day, Lee is responsible for daily office tasks, assisting attorneys where he is needed, and maintaining the overall care of the office. Lee displays a variety of talents, encountering a multitude of different tasks each day.
After graduating high school in 2018, Lee began attending Santiago Canyon College in pursuit of his bachelor’s degree. He is currently planning on transferring in the Fall of 2020 and is eager to explore pre-law opportunities.
Despite being an only child, Lee’s extensive family moved from Iran, never letting him feel alone. He often served as a role model to many of his younger cousins, acting as an older brother. While growing up with his large family in Orange County, Lee learned the value of sharing and taking care of others. Among his family were his grandparents and older aunts and uncles who instilled compassion and empathy in him. Throughout his childhood, they told Lee stories that would leave him in awe. After hearing about the obstacles his relatives faced and witnessing what they accomplished throughout their lifetimes, Lee wants to continue living a life helping people. He is excited to pursue a career in law so that he has the resources to assist others. His relatives’ stories also made him wary of the way he perceives everyone, including strangers. Lee understands that each individual faces a unique set of challenges, and that kindness can go a long way in helping them overcome these challenges.
In his free time, Lee takes every opportunity he can to snowboard. He also enjoys watching classic movies with friends and family.