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GUCL Faculty

Practicing Professionals Informed by Real-World Legal Experience

The faculty at Glendale University College of Law represents a cross-section of accomplished legal practitioners including judges, corporate attorneys, Assistant United States Attorneys, city and district attorneys, and solo practitioners. Their law school alma maters are equally varied and noteworthy.

Most faculty members are 'adjunct' or part time law professors. Adjunct professors are accomplished legal professionals with a passion for teaching. A benefit students derive from studying with adjuncts is the opportunity to learn how the legal theory discussed in class is applied in current practice.

The faculty at Glendale University College of Law is accessible both during and outside of class. Senior faculty members maintain offices on campus and give generously of their time to students. Adjunct faculty members can be reached by phone or e-mail and will set appointments with students as requested.

The Honorable Amy Ashvanian

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • JD, Glendale University College of Law, 2004

Appointed to the Superior Court of the State of California in February 2018 by Governor Brown, the Honorable Amy Ashvanian (GUCL '04) served as a Deputy District Attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for 13 years during which she tried over 85 jury trials and 89 juvenile adjudications. While assigned to the DA's Hardcore Gang Division, she specialized in the prosecution of extremely violent criminal street gangs and received the following awards: The Michael Noyes Humanitarian Award; Most Valuable Prosecutor, Hardcore Gang Division; Challenge Coin Winner, Hardcore Gang Division; and Winner of the Los Angeles County Employee Testimonial. Additional honors include the Excellence in Leadership Award from the L.A. County DA's Investigator’s Association, the Outstanding Prosecutor Award for Specialized Prosecutions from the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, an "I AM WOMAN Visionaries and Agents of Change" award from SEIU Local 721 Women’s Caucus, and a Professional Leader of the Year award from the Western Diocese Armenian Church. In 2008, she was selected to participate in the U.S. State Department's Overseas Prosecution Development Assistance and Training program and has since visited Indonesia and Armenia to assist with the judiciary reform of their criminal justice systems. She also worked with the Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Artsakh on a similar mission. She has international commendations from the United States Embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia; the Chief Justice, Supreme Court of the Republic of Armenia; the United States Department of State, Ambassador to Armenia; and the Armenia State Counselor of Justice. Judge Ashvanian is a certified Police Officer's Standard Training instructor, teaches a Gang Awareness class at the LAPD Academy, and serves as coach for the AGBU Manoukian High School Mock Trial team.

She joined the faculty of Glendale University College of Law in 2014. (Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Criminal Prosecution, Professional Responsibility).

Michael M. Babikian

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • B.A., University California, Irvine, 1993
  • J.D., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, 1997
  • LL.M., University of San Diego, 1999
  • M.B.A., University of Southern California, 2004

An established innovator in the field of legacy planning, Professor Babikian co-founded LegacyShield, a cloud-based system that helps families track and store crucial financial records and family history for future generations. Prior to working at LegacyShield, he was President and CEO of Transamerica Insurance Brokerage from 2012 to 2015. He was responsible for the marketing and sales of life and long term care products to independent general agents, brokers and direct marketers.Prior to his promotion to President, he served as Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President for Transamerica Brokerage. He joined Transamerica in 2003 as an advanced marketing consultant and was later promoted to Vice President, Strategic Marketing Services. His prior experience was as an attorney, working for KPMG, the California Franchise Tax Board, the IRS, and a tax law firm. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Glendale University College of Law. Professor Babikian joined the faculty in 2000. (Taxation)

The Honorable Michael D. Carter

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • B.A., Morehouse College, 1986
  • J.D., Tulane Law School, 1990

Judge Carter began his legal career in the L.A. County District Attorney's Office. During his 13-year tenure there, he tried some 68 felony jury trials.In 1991, he and two other Deputy District Attorneys prosecuted four LAPD officers for their conduct during the beating of Rodney King.Later, he was assigned to Central Trials, Juvenile, Special Prosecution and the prestigious Hardcore Gang Divisions. He spent six years in the Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Division, bringing dozens of rapists and child molesters to justice. Outside of the courtroom, Judge Carter is on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and the Inland Empire. He also participated in the Legal Enrichment and Development program, serving as a crime-prevention instructor to fifth graders for seven years. In November 2003, former Governor Gray Davis appointed Judge Carter to the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He currently presides in the Criminal Division of the Burbank Superior Court. Judge Carter joined the faculty in 2006. (Trial Advocacy)

David H. Friedman

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • B.A., University of Michigan, 1995
  • J.D., Loyola Law School, 1999

Since graduating from Loyola Law School in 1999, Professor Friedman has developed a specialized practice in civil litigation, family law, and post-judgment collection cases. As a family law attorney, he drafts and argues Orders to Show Cause for Custody, Visitation, Child and Spousal Support, and attorney's fees. He handles discovery for all phases of civil and family law matters, defends and takes depositions and appears at trials and hearings. Professor Friedman continues to support his clients in the collections process after a judgment has been awarded and takes appropriate steps on his client's behalf to levy personal property, bank accounts, and stock brokerage accounts. He is a member of the Family Law Section of the L.A. County Bar Association, the Beverly Hills Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Los Angeles County Family Inn of Court. Professor Friedman joined the GUCL faculty in 2010. (Community Property, Family Law, Torts)

Nairi Simonian Gruzenski

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • BA, University of California Los Angeles, 2002
  • JD, American University, Washington College of Law, 2005

Currently with the Assistant United States Attorney's Office Central District, Criminal Division, Major Frauds, Professor Gruzenski drafts legal research memoranda, motions, briefs, participates in hearings, and coordinates with federal investigators regarding review of evidence and interview of witnesses in multi-million dollar health care, advertising, insurance, and tax fraud cases. Previously, she spent six years cultivating and perfecting her legal research and writing skills at the Federal appellate level as an associate attorney with Cohen & Lord, P.C., and as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice-Office of Immigration Litigation-Appellate Division where she drafted 200+ appellate briefs and hundreds of litigation motions for various Circuit Courts of Appeal. Professor Gruzenski has taught Legal Research and Writing, Civil Procedure and Torts at the UCLA Extension Paralegal Program. She joined the faculty at GUCL in 2015. (Appellate Advocacy)

Lawrence L. Hafetz

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • BA, Wesleyan University, 1984
  • JD, University of Michigan Law School, 1989

Professor Hafetz has practiced with Los Angeles County Counsel since 1994 where he manages their Property Division as Assistant County Counsel. With a focus on zoning, land use, environmental law, contract law, real estate transactions, and property-related litigation, his division advises the County Department of Regional Planning, the Regional Planning Commission, and the County Board of Supervisors in planning and zoning matters. Professor Hafetz also has significant litigation experience in government tort liability, regulatory takings, eminent domain, contract disputes, tax assessment/collection, licensing, code enforcement, gun control and constitutional claims. He joined the faculty at GUCL in 2015. (Evidence, Remedies)

The Honorable Mark K. Hanasono

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1996
  • J.D., Georgetown University law Center, 1999

Judge Hanasono began his legal career as a law clerk in the District of Columbia Superior Court in 1999. Between 2000-2004, he was the training deputy, Central Arraignment Court, Office of the Los Angeles County Public Defender. From 2004-2014, he served as team leader, Central Felony Trials, Office of the LA County Alternate Public Defender. He won multiple awards for the number of felony and homicide trials he completed. A gang expert, he taught courses for State Bar credit on how to defend gang cases. In 2013, he was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the Los Angeles Superior Court and now presides at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys that appear before him indicate he has completely taken off his defense hat and is a neutral arbiter of the facts. His reputation is that of a patient man who will always give someone the benefit of the doubt, allow them to complete their thoughts and make their arguments before making a ruling. Judge Hanasono enjoys teaching and mentoring, and notes that being a professor at Glendale University College of Law is also personally satisfying because his father graduated from the school and became a practicing attorney. Judge Hanasono joined the faculty in 2013. (Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure)

Paul Hanna

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • BS, University of California Los Angeles, 1999
  • JD, Loyola Law School, 2002

An associate at Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester, LLP since 2007, Professor Hanna's primary areas of practice are premises liability, government tort, general negligence, third party witnesses in criminal proceedings, trademark and patent litigation, real estate, insurance coverage and bad faith litigation. While at Loyola Law School, Professor Hanna was a member of the Giles Sutherland Rich Intellectual Property Moot Court Team and competed in the Regional Finals in Houston, Texas. He also served as the senior research editor for the Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review in which his article "Recognizing the Need for Uniform International Regulation of Developing Biotechnology: A Focus on Genetic Experimentation" was published. He now volunteers as a judge for practicing members of Loyola Law School's moot court team. Admitted to the State Bar of California in 2002, he is also admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court, Central and Southern Districts of California, and is a member of the Litigation Section of the L.A. County Bar Association. He joined the faculty in 2014. (Torts, Contracts, Legal Method & Examsmanship)

Daniel E. Kenney

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • BA, Pitzer College, 1989
  • JD, Southwestern University School of Law, 1993

Professor Kenney is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Harrington, Foxx, Dubrow & Canter. His practice includes admiralty and maritime claims, products liability, general tort litigation, commercial disputes, bankruptcy, intellectual property, ADA, ERISA, medical malpractice, premises liability and professional liability defense. While at Southwestern, he was a Note & Comment editor on the Law Review and was a member of the Honors Moot Court Team. He is a member of the Trial Attorneys of America and has presented seminars for insurance company employees on the topics of proper claims handling practices and compliance with California insurance law. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1994 and is also admitted to practice before the United States District Court, (Central, Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of California) and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Prior to practicing law, he worked with the sport fishing industry in Southern California. (Evidence, Torts)

The Honorable Michael A. Knish

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • BA, Wake Forest University, 1982
  • MA, Cal State University Los Angeles, 2000
  • JD, Whittier College School of Law, 1991

While teaching high school English and Economics, Judge Knish attended law school part time, earning his JD magna cum laude and serving as Notes and Comments Editor of the Whittier Law Review. Between 1995 and 2003, he worked as a Deputy Public Defender for San Bernardino County and was selected as Public Defender of the Year in 2000 (nominated in 1997, 1998, and 1999). Also in 2000, he was assigned to the Death Penalty Unit, taking several capital murder cases to jury trial. Elected as Commissioner by San Bernardino County Superior Court Judges in 2003, he managed a very busy calendar - 140 cases a day. His ability to review mountainous files and make thoughtful decisions led to his appointment to the San Bernardino Superior Court by Governor Jerry Brown in 2012. Judge Knish teaches paralegal courses at Mt. San Antonio College and Cal State Los Angeles. He joined the faculty at Glendale in 2008. (Trial Practice, Wills, Contracts)

David R. Krause-Leemon

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • BS, San Diego State University, 1991
  • JD, University of San Diego School of Law, 1996

Prior to attending law school, Professor Krause-Leemon gained valuable business experience as the operations manager of a multi-million dollar business with over 200 employees. His success continued in law school where he became Assistant Editor of the San Diego Law Review, earned awards for Oral Advocacy in Constitutional Law, Torts, Criminal Law, was named Best Oral Advocate in the Jessup International Law Competition, and ultimately graduated cum laude. Admitted to the Bar in 1996, he became an Associate Attorney for the litigation law firm of Stutz, Gallagher, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz. In 1998, he became a partner at the law firm of Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps, LLP, focusing in real estate, business and insurance litigation with an emphasis in contracts, business torts, commercial and residential real estate, and construction disputes. Professor Krause-Leemon joined the faculty in 2008. (Real Property)

Tamara M. Kurtzman

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • BA, University of Chicago, 2004
  • JD, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 2007

Professor Kurtzman has a history of achievement. In law school, she was Editor-In-Chief of Law Review, authored multiple notes, and graduated cum laude. Shortly after law school, she opened the law offices of TMK, P.C., representing corporate clients ranging from small start-ups to large multi-national organizations. She has successfully represented clients in multi-million dollar civil litigation, personally worked on more than $85 million of business financing transactions, $22 million in grant and other strategic ventures, and represented clients in multi-million dollar international manufacturing, licensing, and distribution deals. Professor Kurtzman joined the faculty in 2015. (Pretrial Practice)

Zachary J. Levine

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • BA, University of California San Diego, 2004
  • JD, Southwestern University School of Law, 2008

Co-Founder and Partner of Wolk & Levine, a boutique corporate and intellectual property law firm, Professor Levine has a strong legal background in licensing agreements, intellectual property, domain disputes, e-commerce and gaming. He is the author of the "Litigation" and "Cloud Law" columns for the monthly newsletters E-Commerce Law Report and Cyberspace Lawyer and is a contributing author to Scott on Multimedia Law, Scott on Information Technology Law, the IT Law Wiki, FindLaw, and Superhero Law, as well as the former author of the "FAQ" column in the E-Commerce Law Report. He has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School (Video Game Law, Live Entertainment Law, Video Game Agreements) and joined the faculty at GUCL in 2015. (Business Organizations, Business & Financial Literacy for Law Students, Intellectual Property Law)

Robert K. Lu

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • BA, University California Los Angeles, 1995
  • JD, University of Southern California, Gould School of Law, 1998

As the Managing Partner of Richie Litigation in Los Angeles, Professor Lu's practice focuses on all facets of complex commercial litigation cases ranging from products liability, contracts, personal injury and consumer fraud. He also handles misdemeanor and felony criminal matters. Professor Lu spent four years with the United States Attorney's Office in the District of Arizona (Phoenix) working in both the Civil and Criminal Divisions. His initial associate position was with Latham & Watkins, LLP in Los Angeles, where in over five years he gained valuable experience in bench and jury trials, white-collar criminal and pre-trial investigations and motion practice. A graduate of USC Gould School of Law, Professor Lu was in the top 10% of his class and a member of Order of the Coif. Following graduation, he had the distinction of clerking for two federal judges, Judge Harry L. Hupp in the Central District of California, and then Judge Ferdinand F. Fernandez on the Ninth Circuit. Professor Lu has taught Civil Discovery at the UCLA Extension Paralegal Program, and is currently and an Adjunct Professor at USC Gould School of Law where he teaches Legal Writing and Research. He joined the faculty at GUCL in 2016. (Torts, Civil Procedure).

Steven Marcus

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1998
  • J.D., Glendale University College of Law, 2004

Professor Marcus graduated from Glendale University College of Law with Honors.He served as Editor of the Glendale Law Review and is a member of the Editorial Board.Upon his admission to the Bar in 2005, and after 12 years experience as a law clerk/senior paralegal, he was promoted to Senior Associate Attorney at Ivener & Fullmer LLP, a nationally recognized immigration law firm.In November 2006, Professor Marcus accepted the position of Assistant Chief Counsel with the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Immigration)

The Honorable Jared D. Moses

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • BFA, New York University, 1983
  • JD, UC Davis School of Law, 1993

Judge Moses graduated from NYU with Honors in Drama and worked as a professional actor earning credits in film and commercials. He later graduated from UC Davis School of Law in the top 5% of his class and was a member of Order of the Coif. Between 1994 and 2004, Judge Moses served as a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney where he tried over 70 jury trials to verdict. For 5 1/2 years, he was a prosecutor in the Hardcore Gang Division where he tried over 24 jury trials, including 16 gang murders. He then brought his prosecutorial skills to the DA's Training Division between 2006 and 2008. He was elected to the bench in 2008 and currently presides in the Alhambra Superior Court. Judge Moses is an advocate for developmentally disabled children and provides counseling and support for parents of children diagnosed with autism. Judge Moses joined the faculty in 2007. (Criminal Law, Evidence)

Lindsey F. Munyer

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • BBA, University of San Diego, 2006
  • JD, California Western School of Law, 2010
  • LLM, University of San Diego School of Law, 2011

Professor Munyer's career and educational background have focused on estate planning, trust and estate litigation and administration. As an associate with Keystone Law Group, PC, her practice includes estate and trust disputes, conservatorship and guardianship disputes, financial elder abuse, trust administration, and related tax matters in both probate and civil court. In law school, she gained valuable experience as an intern with the Office of the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service during which she prepared and successfully tried a case in Tax Court. She also served as an Associate Writer on Law Review and in earning her JD graduated in the top 7.9% of her class. After law school, she ambitiously pursued an LL.M in Taxation again earning high marks and a Graduate Law Merit Scholarship. Professor Munyer joined the faculty at GUCL in 2015. (Trusts and Estates)

David Ruiz Riera

  • Assistant Professor of Law
  • B.A., Universitat de Barcelona, 1998
  • M.A., Universitat de Barcelona, 2000
  • J.D., Glendale University College of Law, 2006

Native to Barcelona, Professor Ruiz began his career in academics teaching Spanish to middle and high school students. He earned a Master of Arts in Law (the Spanish equivalent of a Juris Doctor) and then became a University Teaching Assistant. His aspirations brought him to the United States where he enrolled at Glendale University College of Law. As a law student, he distinguished himself by earning Academic Achievement Awards in seven subjects, by becoming a published member and Editor in Chief of the Glendale Law Review, and ultimately graduating with High Honors. After earning his Juris Doctor in 2006, he was invited to join the GUCL faculty and work as a full-time law school administrator. In 2012, Professor Ruiz transitioned from academics to the practice of law. (Advanced Document Drafting, Legal Method and Examsmanship)

D. Jay Ritt

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1985
  • J.D., Boalt Hall School of Law, 1988

Since graduating from law school in 1988, Professor Ritt has continuously practiced business and white collar criminal litigation. From 1988 to 1995, he was a litigation associate at Quinn, Kully and Morrow. In 1995, he and two colleagues formed the law firm of Besinger, Ritt & Tai. The focus of his most recent representation involves issues ranging from breach of contract and employment matters to fraud, ERISA, and intellectual property disputes. He has also been active in the representation of inmates on death row, pursuing habeus corpus relief in the Federal Courts. Professor Ritt joined the faculty in 2006. (Constitutional Law)