Umberg/Zipser is pleased to continue its long-time support of the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange County (CRF-OC), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting civic literacy, youth leadership, and career awareness among Orange County teens. Most recently, U/Z attorneys Vikki Vander Woude and Ethan Feng, along with Justice Halim Dhanadina of the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, and employment attorney Melissa Brandman, coached Orange County School of the Arts’ mock trial team in CRF-OC’s first “virtual only” high school mock trial competition, ending with an impressive 6-1 record and advancing to the semi-finals for the first time since Vikki and OCSA teacher sponsors Whitney Coates and Julie Scheppele formed the team four years ago. CRF’s mock trial program provides high school students the opportunity to develop impressive trial advocacy and public speaking skills, as well as a deep understanding of the purpose and role of all participants in the criminal justice system.
Vikki is an award-winning CRF mock trial coach who has formed and developed numerous teams in Orange County over the past 12 years and currently serves on the mock trial committee of CRF-OC’s Board of Directors. Attorney Ethan Feng is a graduate of UCLA Law School, where he was the co-president of the UCLA Law Mock Trial Program, and led the program to victory in various national competitions.
Vikki said, “We are very proud of these talented students. They put in a lot of hard work and were able to collaborate as a team and compete at the highest level in this very challenging virtual environment.”
The firm has a long history of leadership in CRF-Orange County. Partner Adina Stowell served as CRF-OC’s 2014/2015 President and has been a Board Member since 2006. Co-founding partner Dean Zipser served as the organization’s 2017/2018 President, and has been a Board Member since 2007.