July Meeting: MWA Courtroom!

MWA NorCal is proud to announce our big event of the summer: a stellar panel of legal professionals ready to discuss the mysteries and intricacies of the legal process from every angle of the courtroom! You will meet:

Susan M. Breall, a judge in San Francisco Superior Court.

Vilaska Nguyen, felony trial attorney in the Public Defenders Office.

Karen Catalona, deputy District Attorney in both San Francisco and Contra Costa Counties.

Sheldon Siegel, NYT Bestselling Author of legal thrillers and practicing corporate and securities attorney.

This is an incredible chance to meet key professionals who have experience in criminal law—bring your questions for this very special MWA Courtroom!

Date: July 28th, 12-2 PM

Location: Villa D’Este Restaurant, 2623 Ocean Avenue (@ 19th Ave), San Francisco


Parking is relatively easy—there are several lots on the block—and an M Oceanview stop on MUNI only a few hundred feet from the restaurant.

Lunch: Your choice of Eggplant Parmesan, Chicken Picatta, or Filet of Sole. All lunches include a house salad with antipasto, minestrone soup, pasta Bolognese, coffee or tea, and ice cream.

Cost: Only $25 per person. RSVPs due to kelli@kellistanley.com by July 26th.

IMPORTANT: An RSVP is a commitment to purchase lunch. If you RSVP and choose not to attend the meeting and do not cancel by the 26th, you will be expected to reimburse MWA.

You may pay in advance by sending checks to:

Pat Morin, PO Box 2220 Sausalito, CA 94965.

Make all checks out to MWA NorCal



Susan M. Breall is a judge in the San Francisco Superior Court. She presides over the domestic violence court. Prior to becoming a Judge in 2001, she was Chief of the Criminal Division of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. She has tried numerous cases including burglaries, sexual assaults, robberies and murders. She has conducted numerous trainings on crimes of violence against women, and was sent to Bosnia after the Bosnian War to train the Federation of Bosnian Judges on issues of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Vilaska Nguyen is a felony trial attorney at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office where he handles cases ranging from low-level drug sales to homicide. Over the past seven years, Vilaska has tried nearly forty jury trials. He currently resides in San Francisco with his wife, Rhean, and two children, Vivian and Russell.

Karen Catalona has been a Deputy District Attorney for nearly ten years in both San Francisco and Contra Costa counties. Her short story The Sadowsky Manifesto was published in the MWA anthology THE RICH AND THE DEAD. She was recently shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger award and her entry was recognized as “Highly Commended” by the judges.

New York Times bestselling author Sheldon Siegel is a third-generation native of Chicago’s Southeast Side. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign in 1980, and his law degree from Boalt Law School at the University of California-Berkeley in 1983. He has been in private practice in San Francisco since then, and he specializes in corporate and securities law with the San Francisco office of the international law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP. Sheldon is the author of seven critically acclaimed legal thrillers featuring San Francisco criminal defense attorneys Mike Daley and Rosie Fernandez, two of the most beloved characters in contemporary crime fiction. His books have sold millions of copies worldwide.