Mayela C. Montenegro represents product manufacturers in litigation in both state and federal courts. She drafts motions and pleadings, assists in all stages of discovery, prepares witnesses for depositions and trials, provides trial support and collaborates in devising case strategy.
Mayela joined Shook after completing a federal clerkship with The Hon. Edward J. Davila of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. In that capacity, she was assigned to a broad range of civil cases, including consumer and product liability class actions, securities fraud actions, antitrust matters, employment discrimination and civil rights cases.
She drafted more than 70 judicial opinions on civil law and motion matters, including motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment, and motions for preliminary and final approval of class action settlements.
Through her clerkship and an externship during law school, Mayela has gained considerable insight into the inner workings of the judicial process.
Mayela has also worked in the world of government and public policy. Before turning to the legal profession, she obtained a Master of Public Policy degree, interned for the Office of the California Lieutenant Governor, and worked for a state assembly member who represented central Orange County in the California State Legislature.
In addition, Mayela worked at the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe and served as a law clerk in the U.S. Attorney’s Office—Civil Division.
Mayela’s governmental experience has provided her with the ability to evaluate public policy issues arising from legal actions, a skill she uses to assess a case from all sides.
Mayela is actively involved in pro bono matters. She successfully represented a monolingual Spanish speaker in his federal court appeal for the denial of Social Security disability benefits.
She also represents California prisoners in civil rights actions filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
- J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 2014
- The Tony Patiño Fellowship, Fellow
- Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, Executive Managing Editor
- Law Clerk to U.S. Attorney’s Office—Civil Division, Northern District of California
- Judicial Extern to The Hon. William Alsup, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
- Witkin and CALI Excellence for the Future Awards (1L Employment Discrimination, Legal Ethics)
- M.P.P., University of Michigan, 2011
- B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 2006 (Political Science, Ethnic Studies)
- Departmental High Honors
- Université Lumière Lyon 2 Study Abroad Program
- Orange County Bar Association
- Orange County Women Lawyers Association
- American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice (ABA TIPS)
- The Hon. Edward J. Davila, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
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