California Indian Law Association
Board of Directors
Leonard K. Powell J.D. (CILA President) is experienced in municipal, administrative, environmental, regulatory, and Indian law issues. He is a proud member of the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians, where his son serves as Tribal Council. Leonard helped California Tribes establish the foundations and framework for effective gaming regulation in California in the pre-compact era by co-founding and helping facilitate the California Tribal Gaming Commissioners/Regulators Networking Group. Leonard is currently the Community Preservation Manager for the City of Fremont where he is in charge of municipal code enforcement, and helps administer the City’s Zoning and Building Regulations. He has twenty-seven years of city and county government experience, and has previously held the fulltime positions of Airport Manager, Transit Manager, Fleet Manager, Community Services Supervisor, and has held the civic offices of Municipal Advisory Councilman, Parks & Recreation Commissioner, and Economic Development Advisor. He earned his undergraduate degree from USF, majoring in Organizational Behavior.
Hon. Christine Williams (CILA Vice-President) a member of the Yurok Tribe, earned her law degree and Indian Law Certificate from Arizona State University in 2000 and was admitted to practice law in California the same year. Judge Williams’ legal career has focused on representing Tribes in a broad spectrum of tribal legal matters primarily Indian child welfare, tribal court development and cultural resource protection. She currently serves as the Chief Judge for several tribes in Northern California. Additionally, Judge Williams provides training and education on various areas of Indian law and history.
Lauren Frinkman (CILA Secretary) (Cochiti Pueblo) serves as the Tribal Law and Policy Institute’s (TLPI) Tribal Law Specialist, which includes facilitating technical assistance to tribal governments, and researching legal and policy issues as they face tribal governance and sovereignty. Ms. Frinkman is a recent graduate of UCLA School of Law, where she focused her studies upon Tribal and Federal Indian Law. While in law school, she served as president of the Native American Law Students Association, and as Area 1 Representative of the National Native American Law Students Association. Ms. Frinkman participated in two tribal clinics, including the Tribal Legal Development Clinic and the Tribal Appellate Court Clinic. Ms. Frinkman has previously served as law clerk at the Native American Rights Fund and the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.
David J. Montoya III (CILA Treasurer) (Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo) hails from both Orange County and Los Angeles, splitting time between the locations over the past 15 years. After graduating from UC Irvine with a B.A. in Political Science and minor in Philosophy, David attended UCLA School of Law and enrolled in the Federal Indian Law joint-degree program. While at law school, David worked on economic development, cultural property, and sovereignty issues facing Native American tribes across the U.S. After graduating, he opened the doors to his own law firm, helping indigent clients in Orange County and Los Angeles on a myriad of issues includign evictions, divorce, child custody, and bankruptcy. Soon thereafter David became the research analyst for UCLA's American Indian Studies Center and conducted legal research for the Tribal Law and Order Commission. Mr. Montoya currently works as an in-house attorney for the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians. He continues to work with and mentor students in UCLA's American Indian Studies program and is also working with another non-profit organization to educate younger Native American on our elders' experiences in boarding schools.
Javier I. Kinney is a Tribal member and Director of Office of Self-Governance for the Yurok Tribe. He has attained a Bachelor of Arts Degrees in History and Native American Studies from the University of California, Davis, a Master of Arts degree in Law & Diplomacy, specializing in Development Economics and International Law from Tufts University-Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, and a Juris Doctorate from Suffolk Law School. Mr. Kinney has extensive experience working for Tribal governments specializing in areas of public policy, economic analysis, tribal governance, grant management, protection of tribal cultural resources and strategic planning.
Angela M. Medrano is a member of the Cahuilla Band of Indians and licensed California attorney. She is the TANF Community Services Coordinator for the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. Her work experience includes nearly seven years as a Staff Attorney for California Indian Legal Services and two years as Lead Gaming Commissioner for her Tribe. Angela has expansive understanding of Indian legal issues including, tribal representation and counsel, legal presentations, and direct services to individuals. Angela earned a B.A. from the University of Southern California in 2000. She earned her J.D. from the University of San Diego in 2003 and was admitted to practice law that same year. She is President of the Native American Lawyers Association of San Diego County, is a past board member of the California Indian Law Association, and has held various committee positions with her Tribe.
Naomi Y. Bebo is a member of the Ho-Chunk and Menominee Tribe, a 2009 graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and practices at the Nordhaus Law Firm. While at UCLA, Ms. Bebo served as Chairwoman of the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA); participated in the National NALSA moot court as a dual school team; was a member of the UCLA’s Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs; and also acted as an Articles Editor for UCLA’s Indigenous Peoples' Journal of Law, Culture and Resistance. Before joining the Nordhaus Law Firm, Naomi was selected for a Public Interest Indian Law Fellowship where she participated directly in serving tribal clients, gaining exposure to Indian law by working in areas such as native land rights, protection of tribal environmental and cultural resources, Indian child dependency, tribal law, and litigation. Ms. Bebo has clerked for two tribal courts, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Hopi Supreme Court, and the Arizona Court of Appeals.