Meet your New Board Members: Denae Hildebrand Budde, Nick Casper, Elva Harding and Rashmi Nijagal:
Denae Hildebrand Budde
Denae is a partner in the law firm of Alborg Veiluva & Martin LLP in Walnut Creek. Currently her practice consists of title and commercial insurance coverage as well as litigation in which she represents insurers, financial institutions, escrow companies and corporations. Denae has extensive civil and criminal litigation experience, having tried cases ranging from multi-million dollar
insurance coverage to rape and carjacking cases. She is a certified mediator and has resolved several matters through mediation. Denae moved to Contra Costa County after spending the first ten years of her practice in Tulare County. She is a member of the CCCBA’s ADR section, Real Estate Section, and is the 2010 President of the Women’s Section.
In addition to her involvement with CCCBA, Denae is a member of the Contra Costa County Chapter of the Robert G. Mc- Grath Inn of Court. She graduated from the University of Santa Clara in 1993 and was a Comments Editor of the Computer and High Technology Law Journal. After earning her Masters in Education, from the University of California, Los Angeles
(UCLA) in 1986, she taught elementary school for four years prior to attending law school. Denae also received her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA in 1985. Denae is licensed to practice in California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern and Eastern
District’s of California.
Denae lives in Moraga with her husband, a commercial airline pilot and Commander in the Navy Reserves, and their three daughters. With her husband being gone half of every month, shuttling their three girls to their activities and social engagements consumes most of her free time. But when there is a little left, she enjoys traveling, skiing – water and snow – and baking.
Nick received his undergraduate education from the University of California, Los Angeles, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 2001. He graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law in May 2006, and was admitted to the California Bar on December 1, 2006. Nick worked as a judicial extern for the Honorable Mark Simons on California’s Court of Appeal, First District. He also worked at the Contra Costa Public Defender’s Office, both as a law clerk and as a clerk on a death penalty case with (now Judge) Christopher Bowen.
In March 2007, Nick joined the Plaintiffs’ Civil Litigation firm of Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook in Walnut Creek, reinforcing the adage that ‘the apple never falls far
from the tree’. As the firm’s associate, Nick has been actively involved in litigating many of the firm’s largest cases involving catastrophic injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, employment discrimination/ harassment, civil rights violations, and child sexual abuse. In the last year, Nick has also taken several of the firm’s cases to jury trial.
Nick is involved in a variety of legal organizations, both at the local level and state-wide. He has been serving as Chair of the CCCBA Barrister’s Section since 2009, is a member of the Robert G. McGrath American Inn of Court, is on the Board of Governors of the Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association (ACCTLA), and was active in the development of the fledgling New Lawyers Division of the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC).
Nick currently lives in the Mission District in San Francisco, where he has resided since 2003. Although braving the reverse commute from the city to Walnut Creek may not be ideal, Nick loves being in the midst of the amazing restaurants, neighborhoods and happenings in San Francisco. Nick likes to stay fit and healthy and is an avid skier.
Elva Harding began her career in real estate over 15 years ago with the purchase of her first investment property. After gaining experience in the field of rent controlled housing, she joined a national private-equity investment firm as asset manager of its Bay Area portfolio. Her experience managing budgets, litigation and negotiating her way through local and state agencies informs her legal advice with a practical perspective that her clients appreciate. In 2008, Elva joined Shapiro Buchman Provine’s Real Estate and Business practice. Elva provides real estate and business advice to investors, contractors, medical groups, on-line and bricks-and-mortar retail operators. She represents clients in the purchase, sale, financing and leasing of commercial real estate, business licensing and employment issues. She also advises clients regarding real estate and business disputes including fraud litigation, partnership disputes and collection matters. She is an active member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association, serving as an officer of the Women’s Section, member of the fundraising committee for the Elder Law Center and member of the Real
Estate Section. Additionally, she is a member of the San Francisco Bar, Queen’s Bench and East Bay CREW.
Elva received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. Through the University of California’s Education Abroad Program, Elva spent a year at Trinity College, Dublin in Ireland, studying political and economic development. She is a graduate of Santa Clara University School of Law, where she received the Cali and Witkin awards for Insurance Law.
As a volunteer in the Amigos de las Americas program (www.amigoslink.org) in 1984, Elva served on a health and sanitation project in the Dominican Republic. Today, Elva believes in the power of youth leadership to improve communities at home and abroad. She continues her Amigos service as an officer of the East Bay Chapter of Amigos and occasional advisor to Amigos’ International Board.
Elva and her husband, Seamus Vanecko, are avid travelers. They met while attending Trinity College, Dublin and, after completing their undergraduate degrees, moved to Paris. Today, they are happily settled in Rockridge with their Irish Bulldog, Murphy. Seamus is a construction litigation consultant with Higuera Associates and a general contractor. Elva and Seamus enjoy scuba diving and hope to enjoy yet another good season of cross country skiing in the Sierra this winter.
Rashmi lives in Pleasanton surrounded by her three boys: her husband, Satinder, her four-year-old son Sohan, and her two-year-old son Tejan. To make up for the lack of estrogen in the house, she loves buying dresses and hair clips for her niece. Rashmi has been practicing law for six years and has had the pleasure of practicing in a variety of fields including criminal defense at the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office, medical malpractice defense in Walnut Creek and now as an appellate attorney on the Contra Costa County Appellate Panel. She also works in the health care law area representing hospital medical staffs. She has been on the Contra Costa County Bar Association’s Conference of California Bar Associations since 2007 and has been the Chair of the county’s delegation
Rashmi obtained her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her law degree from the University of California, Davis. Before law school, she worked as an editor for a children’s art publishing company and as a HR manager at a small (and then large) start-up in Emeryville. Rashmi loves cooking with and for her kids and running half marathons.
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