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JABA Welcomes Three New Lifetime Members

Three new members have joined the JABA Lifetime Member Club.

Commissioner Phyllis Shibata

Commissioner Shibata has been serving as a Commissioner of the Los Angeles Superior Court since 2001. She currently is assigned to the direct calendar juvenile courts in Pomona. She has also been assigned to the domestic violence court, misdemeanor arraignments, felony preliminary hearings, and has handled many other assignments.

Prior to becoming a commissioner, she was a Los Angeles County Public Defender and a Riverside Country Public Defender. She also was in private practice as an attorney with the Witter and Harpole firm, handling civil, probate, family and tax law.

In addition to her varied legal background, Commr. Shibata is an involved member of the community. She is a member of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), past Board Member of the Pomona NAMI affiliate. NAMI is a national non-profit that provides advocates on behalf of those suffering from mental illness and for their families.

Asked why she became a lifetime member, Commissioner Shibata said, “I’ve been a lawyer for 31 years. I’ve not had the time or ability to support the programs that JABA offers, but at least now I can contribute by offering financial assistance in recognition of the work JABA has done.”

On the personal side, Commr. Shibata has a 25 year old son who just graduated with an M.A. in Global Economics and works at Google. She also golfs, travels and is a member of the JABA Running Group.

Sandra Fujiyama

Sandra Fujiyama is a partner in the Intellectual Property Practice group in Sidley Austin’s Los Angeles office. Her practice focuses on intellectual property litigation, mainly patent litigation. She has worked on many high-stakes patent litigation cases ranging from stem cells to smartphone technology.

She also regularly counsels on intellectual property matters, prosecutes patent and trademark applications and deals with a wide variety of other issues relating to intellectual property.

Prior to joining the Sidley firm, Ms. Fujiyama was an associate at Lyon & Lyon LLP, where she also handled intellectual property matters.

She is also involved in the community. She has served as a board member of the Asian Pacific American Women’s Lawyer Alliance (Secretary 2012). She also sits on the board of the JABA Educational Foundation and serves as a member of the fundraising committee. She is also a board member for the California Bar Foundation and is a member of the scholarship committee.

She is a proud Bruin, having graduated from UCLA in three years with a Biochemistry degree.

Diana Nishiura

Diana Nishiura is Senior Counsel with the California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). DFI is a financial regulator that licenses, closes and regulates the activities, operations and sale of securities of state chartered banks and also regulates state credit unions and transmitters of money.

Ms. Nishiura is a long time board member of both JABA and JEF (JABA Educational Foundation). She is also past president of JABA and JEF. JEF President Lynn Whitcher describes Ms. Nishiura as an “amazingly dedicated and tireless champion of JEF. We are forever grateful to Diana for all of her contributions. No matter what the project, she is always ready to pull up her sleeves and help get things done.”

In addition, she is a member of the board of directors for the Go For Broke National Education Foundation and a member of the board of the Venice Culver Chapter of the Japanese Americans Citizen League, Pacific Southwest District. She also serves as a member of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Finance Council and a member of her church’s School Endowment Fund Board of Trustees.

In her not so spare time, she tries to keep up with significant developments in US Constitutional Law, with an eye towards compiling a case book specializing in US Supreme Court cases that have impacted Asian Americans and other minority groups. She sang for 19 years in her church choir (until all of her other commitments took up all of her not so spare time).