Tara Burd, President and Membership Director
Tara Burd is a Southern California native and a member of the San Diego legal community since 2005. She graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration with Distinction in Criminal Justice. Later, she completed California Western School of Law's accelerated two-year program, cum laude with Honors Distinction in Criminal Prosecution & Defense Practice Concentration.
Today, Ms. Burd runs her own civil litigation practice, T.Burd Law Group, APC, which focuses on trust, probate and business litigation. She works closely with David McCuaig of Sona Legal on probate and business litigation matters; with William Markham on anti-trust litigation; and Pavone & Fonner as part of a team representing inmates who contracted Valley Fever while in prison. She is also an active member of The Honorable J. Clifford Wallace American Inn of Court, on the Executive Committee of the Real Property Law Section of the California Lawyers Association ("CLA"), and on the Executive Marketing and Communications Committee of the CLA. Ms. Burd has judged the St. Patrick's Day Parade since 2015 and was a judge in the Miss Colleen Pageant in 2018.
Kevin Murphy, Vice President
Prior to joining Murphy Jones APC, Mr. Murphy practiced as an associate attorney at Morris Sullivan & Lemkul LLP representing both plaintiff and defendant parties in the areas of construction defect, personal injury and medical malpractice litigation. Currently, Mr. Murphy represents licensed professionals before State Administrative Agencies / Boards / Bureaus, and maintains a small plaintiff civil litigation practice, in both California and Nevada. Mr. Murphy is an active member of the State Bars of California and Nevada, San Diego County Bar Association, Clark County Bar Association, American Inns of Court, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, San Diego Defense Lawyers, St. Thomas More Society, American Association of Nurse Attorneys, and the American Health Lawyers Association.
David McCuaig, Secretary
David C. McCuaig is a San Diego business and estate planning attorney with a common sense approach that prioritizes the needs of the client. Mr. McCuaig was born in Brisbane, Australia and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of California San Diego. He obtained his Juris Doctor from American University in Washington D.C. and left his law firm in 2012 to launch his own practice. Through his firm, SONA LEGAL, Mr. McCuaig delivers exceptional legal services to businesses and professionals on a short turnaround. His focus is on day-to-day commercial transactions, internet, e-commerce, corporate cleanup, and estate planning. Mr. McCuaig has represented clients ranging from the National Football League to the local dog rescue. Specialties include the following:
- Commercial: licensing, procurement, financing, strategic alliances, sales
- Internet: terms and conditions, privacy policies, advertising, technology services
- E-commerce: development, marketing, manufacturing, trademarks, and subscriptions
- Corporate: governance, investors and securities, compliance, “legal audits”
- Estate planning: living trusts, special needs trusts, legacy and succession planning
Mr. McCuaig firmly believes in the importance of free and low-cost legal services for those in need and has received the Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services for his efforts in the community as well as the San Diego Business Journal’s 2016 “Best of the Bar” Award.
Bernadette C. Hilgeman, Co-Treasurer
Bernadette C. Hilgeman is the principal of the Law Offices of Bernadette C. Hilgeman, a general practice law firm with an emphasis on Probate and Trust litigation, located in La Mesa, California. Ms. Hilgeman was born in Staten Island, New York. She received her B.S in Law concurrently with her J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. While in law school, Ms. Hilgeman clerked with various prosecutorial agencies such as the San Diego District Attorney’s Special Operations unit, the San Diego City Attorney’s, Criminal Division and the San Diego Office of the Attorney General for the State of California in the Criminal Appeals Division. She has been practicing in San Diego since 1997. Ms. Hilgeman volunteers many hours to assist various nonprofit groups including serving on the board of Irish Outreach San Diego, where she was Secretary for 2003-2008, currently serving as a general board member. She obtained her Irish citizenship in 2005. Ms. Hilgeman was one of the founding members of the Irish American Bar Association of San Diego.
Christopher Cooke, Co-Treasurer
Chris Cooke is an attorney focused on taxation, estate planning, corporate formation, and transactional business issues. His practice includes negotiating with federal and state tax authorities clarify and minimize tax liabilities. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME), Chris attended flight training and was designated a Navy Pilot. After arriving in San Diego, Chris flew Navy helicopters from NAS North Island and various surface ships in the Pacific Fleet. While on active duty, Chris earned an MBA degree from the University of San Diego and later a JD degree from the USD School of Law. After active duty and prior to practicing law, Chris worked as an executive for several defense and technology companies including Cubic Corporation, Seimens, General Atomics, and General Dynamics.
Chris is an active member of several defense-related organizations including the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association (AFCEA), and the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC). As an attorney, he is active in the American Bar Association (ABA), California Bar Association, and San Diego County Bar Association. He is a member of the Taxation Section of the ABA and the Trusts and Estates Section of the San Diego County Bar. Chris volunteers his time as a local and national board member of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association. He is a Naval Academy Information Officer and counsels high school students on admission. In 2000, Chris started a boy scout troop and continues to serve as scoutmaster. As avid cyclist, runner, and swimmer, Chris participates in several Olympic-distance triathlon events annually.
Angela Mullins, Event Coordinator
Angela Mullins is a Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Diego in the Civil Litigation Unit. In this role she represents the City in a variety of civil litigation matters to include torts, civil rights, personal injury, and labor and employment. Prior to joining the City Attorney’s Office, Ms. Mullins worked at Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton where she specialized in labor and employment litigation. Ms. Mullins also has experience defending professional liability claims, as well as business litigation.
After graduating from University of San Diego, School of Law, Ms. Mullins served in the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where she defended federal crimes in bench and jury trials and provided expert advice and negotiations on criminal defense matters. Ms. Mullins also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of California and general counsel to a local military command. She currently serves in the Naval Reserves as an Operational Law attorney for Pacific Fleet Legal.
Charles Fanning, Sponsorship Coordinator
Charles L. Fanning IV, better known as Chip amongst friends and in the community, graduated from Providence College in 2002 summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Mr. Fanning left the unbearable weather of New England to attend the University of San Diego School of Law where he graduated with a Juris Doctor and a Masters of Law in Taxation in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
Mr. Fanning has been practicing civil litigation with a focus in insurance, including coverage and bad faith, and construction law since 2007. Mr. Fanning has extensive experience providing coverage analyses under a variety of insurance policies, including CGL, Homeowner’s, Errors & Omissions, Directors & Officers, and Professional Liability policies. Mr. Fanning represents a diverse clientele ranging from Fortune 500 companies to Governmental Agencies, General Contractors to Homeowners’ Associations, and small businesses to individuals for their business and litigation needs. Based on these accomplishments, Mr. Fanning has been recognized by the Daily Transcript as a Top Attorney in the Insurance category and a Rising Star by Super Lawyers from 2015 - 2017.
After a summer spent studying law abroad in Dublin, Mr. Fanning became a member and supporter of the San Diego chapter of the American Ireland Fund, which is dedicated to supporting programs of peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, education, and community development throughout the island of Ireland. He also actively supports the efforts of the San Diego Humane Society where he adopted arguably the best boxer pup in 2008.
William Concidine, Board Member
William M. Concidine was born and raised in Southern California. He attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. Following several great years in San Luis Obispo, Mr. Concidine was drawn to the wonderful city of San Diego where he attended California Western School of Law. He was officially sworn in as an attorney in December 2006. Following his swearing in, Mr. Concidine decided to pursue a career in criminal defense work. Since that time he has been developing his practice in Southern California with an office centrally located in the Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego.
Prior to opening his own office, Mr. Concidine spent several years as an associate attorney under one of the city's best criminal defense attorneys. Prior to that experience, Mr. Concidine learned the day to day procedures of the misdemeanor courts while interning at the Public Defender of San Diego. This experience lead to a positive and solid working relationship with City Attorneys and District Attorneys throughout San Diego County. In addition to his time at the Public Defender, Mr. Concidine spent a few years interning at the Alternate Public Defender where he worked on serious felony offenses.
In addition, Mr. Concidine is an active member of the legal community and a member of several criminal defense organizations including the San Diego County Bar Association, San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association, California DUI Lawyers Association, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Greg Daniels, Board Member
Greg focuses his practice in the areas of healthcare regulatory compliance and litigation. He advises healthcare clients on a broad variety of matters such as fraud and abuse, the False Claims Act (FCA), the Stark law and Anti-Kickback Statute, as well as HIPAA/patient privacy, Medicare/Medicaid, and patient consent issues. Additionally, he conducts internal investigations into areas of risk, including employment and medical staff issues, internal audits, theft, and other regulatory issues.
Greg has previously served as General Counsel for a large multi-specialty, not-for-profit health care organization based in San Diego, and as Chief Compliance Officer for an acute-care medical center in Imperial Valley. Greg has also worked in the Litigation and Regulatory Sections in the San Diego office of a national healthcare law firm and as a litigation attorney for a regional law firm. Prior to joining the private sector, Greg worked in the Office of the District Attorney, Riverside, California.
John O'Brien, Board Member
An east coast native, John was born in New Jersey and grew up in Maryland. After attending Boston College, where he majored in economics, he fulfilled his dream of moving to San Diego.John attended California Western School of Law in downtown San Diego, where he was on the Dean’s List and the Moot Court Honor’s Board.During and after law school, John worked for – and learned from – some of the most preeminent business litigators in San Diego.In 2009, desiring more personal client relationships, even more court exposure, and to fulfill his entrepreneurial spirit, John opened his own successful business litigation practice.Clients greatly appreciate John’s amicable and honest demeanor, combined with his competitive disposition and aggressive response to opposing parties.John’s focuses 100% of his practice prosecuting and defending business and real estate litigation, representing businesses and individuals.John is a member of the State Bar of California, San Diego County Bar Association, Association of Business Trial Lawyers of San Diego, and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.In his spare time, John continues to fuel his competitive nature by playing ice hockey twice a week (which he has played since a toddler) and regularly attending a downtown CrossFit gym. John has also played guitar since 6th grade, and – loving the open water – routinely sails with friends and family.
Patrick O'Toole, Board Member
Pat O'Toole graduated magna cum laude and phi beta kappa from USC, and graduated from UCLA School of Law. He served as an Assistant United States Attorney from 1982 until 2005, during which time Mr. O'Toole tried approximately 100 felony cases, primarily involving public corruption, drug and alien smuggling, violent crime, and fraud. Mr. O'Toole has argued approximately 70 cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and he has over 40 published Ninth Circuit opinions. From 2000 to 2001, Mr. O'Toole served as First Assistant United States Attorney, and he was the United States Attorney from 2001 to 2002. Since 2005, Mr. O'Toole has been working at the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, where he has investigated and handled public corruption cases, and created a criminal investigative grand jury system. Mr. O'Toole is the author of grand jury manuals used by the California District Attorneys Association, "A Comparative Guide Between the California Criminal Grand Jury and the Federal Grand Jury", and "The California Criminal Investigative Grand Jury". Mr. O'Toole will be engaged in private practice starting in 2016.
Tim Riley, Board Member
Mr. Riley was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and obtained his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1984. He was admitted to the Wisconsin Bar that same year, and was admitted in California in 1986. Mr. Riley has been certified as a Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate law by the California Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California since 1994. Mr. Riley's practice includes estate planning, probate and trust administration, estate / gift tax controversies, contested probate matters. He has also conducted more than 100 mediations in probate matters, and serves as a judge pro tem in the Probate Division of the San Diego Superior Court. He is currently practicing with Hughes & Pizzuto, A.P.C. Mr. Riley also serves as a director of the Probate Attorneys of San Diego, Irish Outreach of San Diego and the San Diego Dental Health Foundation. He is rated "AV" by Martindale-Hubbell, and has also been consistently named as one of San Diego’s "Top Lawyers" and a “Super Lawyer” in the area of Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law.
2017 - Chip Fanning
2016 - William Concidine
2015 - Angela Mullins
2014 - Christopher Cooke
2013 - Tim Riley
2012 - Bernadette C. Hilgeman
2011 - Greg Daniels
2010 - Patrick O'Toole
2008-2009 - Jackie Ní Mháirtín
Jackie Ní Mháirtín
with the assistance of:
Bernadette C. Hilgeman