THE IALOC BOARD

Dominic Rainone, President

Mr. Rainone has been a member of the Italian American Lawyers of Orange County for the past 10 years. He currently holds a position on their board. His ties to the Italian American community run deep as he was born of Italian immigrants and grew up speaking both English and Italian. He lived and studied in Italy for 8 years when his parents returned to their home land near Naples. His ties to Italy remain strong as he and his children are duel citizens with the U.S. and Italy. In addition to being an attorney, Mr. Rainone is a certified Italian Tutor and loves tutoring students as a hobby. He lives in Lake Forest, CA with his wife and two of their children, while their oldest child is currently in graduate school in Italy.

As to his legal practice, Mr. Rainone's background provides an exceptional mix of legal expertise, computer technology knowledge, and business management skills. This combination has proven to be invaluable to his clients. His law firm focuses on Trust & Estates: Planning, Administration and Litigation.

Prior to his legal career Mr. Rainone had 20 years experience with Unisys Corporation. Over this period, he was involved in multi-million dollar contract negotiations, managing software products and services, managing budgets and staff. This high-level business exposure translated well to his solo legal practice.

Mr. Rainone earned a BS degree, cum laude, in mathematics, from the State University of New York at Albany in 1973. He obtained his Juris Doctorate from Whittier Law School in 1993. There he was a member of the International Law Society and a recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award for Trial Advocacy.

His professional memberships include: the State Bar of California, Orange County and American Bar Associations; the Estate & Trust Sections of the Orange County Bar, the Italian American Lawyers of Orange County, the Knights of Columbus, the El Toro Aquatics Booster Organization and School Site Counsel at Saddleback Valley Unified School District.

 

Joseph Ferrucci, Vice President

Joe Ferrucci graduated from Cal State University, Fullerton in 1993 with a degree in Business Administration (accounting concentration) and then attended Pepperdine University School of Law, where he graduated in 1996.

After graduating law school, Mr. Ferrucci worked for law firms in Los Angeles and Irvine representing insurance companies and their insureds in various types of civil litigation matters. In 2003, Mr. Ferrucci formed his own firm and has specialized in representing small to medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurs and investors in business and real estate litigation matters. He is currently a member of the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association and a teacher for the Orange County College of Trial Advocacy. He is also a member of the CSUF Executive Council Board.

Mr. Ferrucci has published several articles in both local and national trade association publications and business journals on construction and business issues.

 

Anthony Modarelli, Treasurer
Anthony was born and raised by full-blooded Italian parents in Youngstown, Ohio. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from Villanova University, where he met his wife, Jo Anne, who is also of Italian descent. After relocating to Orange County and graduating from Chapman University's School of Law, Anthony now practices civil litigation in complex, business, and general liability matters.  He is admitted to practice law in California and Nevada.

As a law student, Anthony attended his first IALOC meeting as a guest of founding member, Joseph D'Antony. Since that first meeting, Anthony's involvement in IALOC has grown over the years. He now serves as IALOC's Secretary for 2015. Anthony is grateful for IALOC and the countless friendships and mentors he now considers part of his "famiglia". In addition to IALOC, Anthony is a member of the National Italian American Bar Association ("NIABA"), Banyard Inn of Court, and President of the Villanova University Alumni Association Orange County Chapter.

 

Michelle Ghidotti, Secretary

Michelle Ghidotti-Gonsalves, Principal Attorney at The Law Offices of Michelle Ghidotti, was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Ghidotti-Gonsalves obtained a Bachelor Degree in Business Finance Magna Cum Laude from Western Illinois University in 2001 where she was actively involved in numerous campus organizations including the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority and the Beta Gamma Sigma business fraternity. Ms. Ghidotti-Gonsalves moved to California in 2001 and received her Juris Doctorate with a Taxation emphasis from Chapman University School of Law in 2004 where she was awarded a CALI Award for academic excellence in Taxation of Business Organizations and was named the Distinguished Tax Scholar of the Year in 2004. Ms. Ghidotti-Gonsalves is admitted to the state and federal court of California, Arizona, Washington and Illinois.

Ms. Ghidotti-Gonsalves has been practicing law since 2004 and has extensive legal experience with a business background. Prior to forming the Law Offices of Michelle Ghidotti, Ms. Ghidotti-Gonsalves worked at Attlesey Storm, LLP, successor to Miller and Clark, PC. During Ms. Ghidotti-Gonsalves’ practice as an associate attorney, she developed considerable experience representing financial institutions and related entities in a broad range of real estate, real estate finance, and bankruptcy related matters. Ms. Ghidotti founded the Law Offices of Michelle Ghidotti in February 2012.

Ms. Ghidotti lectures on general real estate, bankruptcy and foreclosure issues, and has been a featured speaker for several companies specializing in nonperforming second mortgages.

 

Kate Santon, Historian

Kate Santon practices in the areas of business and corporate transactions and compliance.  She acts as outside general counsel to small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs. 

Her family, formerly the Santonocito family, immigrated through Ellis Island from Sicily in the early 1900’s.  Kate lived and studied in Italy during part of college and regularly visits her family in Rome. 

 

Kate graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2006 and from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2009, where she served as the Senior Executive Editor of the San Diego Law Review.  Kate was admitted to the California Bar in 2009 and the United States Supreme Court in 2015. 

After graduating law school, she practiced in the areas of international law, business litigation, employment counseling and litigation, and privacy and data security counseling with a large law firm in Orange County.  In 2015, she founded her own firm, Santon General Counsel, P.C., which provides legal services in the areas of entity formation, corporate governance, compliance, risk management, board strategy and advice, litigation strategy and management, contract drafting and review, employment issues, intellectual property portfolio management and privacy and data security compliance.      

 

Joseph S. D'Antony, Consigliore

Joseph D'Antony is the "Founding Father" of the IALOC forming Lex Romana in 1977.  Mr. D'Antonty has been an integral part of the IALOC since is creation and was instrumental in getting the IALOC recognized as an official Affiliat of the Orange County Bar Association.  For his efforts in forming and reviving the IALOC, Joseph D'Antony was granted a life-time seat on the IALOC Board of Directors holding the esteemed position of “Consigliore.”  Click here for a complete history of the IALOC.

Spending 33 years litigating cases from both a plaintiff's perspective and from a defense perspective, Joseph S. D'Antony believes that cases are handled more efficiently through alternative adjudication. He has seen the anguish and the turmoil experienced by his clients commencing with either the serving of the complaint or from experiencing an injustice and ending several months later with a contested trial or settlement. With a civil trial, each party has to relive the experience over and over again. He believes that the mediation/arbitration process can resolve matters more expeditiously and usually with a better and more satisfying result for both parties. After 33 years as a successful civil trial litigator for both the defense and plaintiff's bar, My. D'Antony has retired to become an arbitrator/mediator. Not only does he have have a strong background in civil matters, but he also brings his experiences as a registered pharmacist in the states of Ohio and California.

Mr D'Antony has settled and resolved difficult cases acting as a pro temp settlement conference judge in the Orange County Superior Court and as a mediator on the Los Angeles County Mediation Panel. In addition, Mr. D'Antony has acted as a neutral in arbitrations and this experience lends itself to mediating cases from a non-adversarial position. Mr. D'Antony's experiences in the many variables of a lawsuit have prepared him for ADR.

The majority of Mr. D'Antony's experience has been in the field of medical malpractice, personal injury, and general liability matters. His concern for the parties is conveyed in his approach in working to bring the parties to a position of conclusion. The uncertainties of litigation as well as the expense, emotional and financial concerns for the future are a heavy burden for the parties as they approach a civil trial.

 

Diana Cimino, Parliamentarian

Diana Cimino is a first generation Italian-American, and grew up in upstate New York.

She attended Arizona State University, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Business, and earned her Juris Doctorate from Western State University College of Law. Her firm, Cimino Law Offices, located in Laguna Beach, focuses on business and employment law, including business transactions, contract and business disputes, employment law, and complex business transactions including as mergers and acquisitions.

Diana has been a member of Italian America Lawyers of Orange County for 14 years, where she serves as the Parliamentarian. She is also on the Board for Rotary International of Laguna Beach. Additionally, she is a member of the California Bar Association, the Orange County Bar Association, the National Italian American Bar Association, the American Association of University Women, and the Laguna Beach Business Club. Her other activities include the Orange County Girl Scouts, where she is the troop leader, and she serves as a delegate on the Board of the Orange County Girl Scout Council.

Diana previously lived in Venice, Italy and is fluent in Italian. She lives in Laguna Beach with her husband Tom, and her two teenage daughters.

 

Matthew S. Buttacavoli, Board Member at Large (Immediate Past President)

Matthew S. Buttacavoli is a family law lawyer at Minyard Morris in Newport Beach.  He was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1972. His ancestors immigrated through Ellis Island from Sicily during the height of Italian-American immigration in the early 1900’s. Matthew is a proud member of the IALOC and served on its Board since 2011, previously as Secretary, Vice President, President-Elect and President.  Matthew is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Constitutional Rights Foundation-Orange County and is the President of the Orange County Chapter of the USD School of Law Alumni Association.

Matthew graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Irvine (B.A., 1995) and cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law (J.D., 1999), where he served as Executive Editor of the San Diego Law Review and received the General George W. Hickman, Jr. Award for excellence in Constitutional Law. Matthew was admitted to the California Bar in 1999, and was admitted to the United States Supreme Court Bar in 2003. He was also admitted to the United States District Court for the Central and Southern Districts of California. Matthew is an alumnus of the Family Law Trial Institute, a nationally preeminent program which for more than twenty years has provided advanced education, training and instruction in trial practice. He is also an alumnus of the Advanced Business Valuation Institute. He has been named a Certified Specialist in Family Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

In June 2014 after being nominated by the Public Law Center's Board of Directors, Matthew S. Buttacavoli was awarded the Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for pro bono legal services by the State Bar of California Board of Trustees in recognition for his voluntary provision of legal services to the poor or disadvantaged, improving the law and the legal system and increasing access to justice. Matthew is a member of the Orange County Bar Association Family Law Section, sits on the Resolutions Committee of the Orange County Bar Association and has served on the Orange County Bar Association's Appointments Committee.  Matthew is a Founding Fellow of the Society of Fellows of the Orange County Bar Foundation. Matthew has also served on the Orange County Public Law Center’s Volunteers for Justice Dinner Committee and its Silent Auction Committee and served as the Silent Auction Committee’s co-chair from 2010 through 2013. Matthew is an Ambassador Member of the National Italian-American Foundation, a member of the Federalist Society, and previously served on the Board of Directors for the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), Region 85.

Matthew currently limits his practice to Family Law. 
 

Sherry D'Antony, Board Member At Large

Sherry Graybehl D’Antony is a partner at the law firm of Bohm Wildish, LLP.  Her areas of practice include Employment Law and Family Law.  Prior to joining the law firm of Bohm Wildish, LLP, she was a partner at the law firm of D'Antony, Doyle & Moore.  Prior to that, Ms. Graybehl D'Antony was at the law firm of Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo for nine-and-a-half years where she handled all matters relating to family law and employment law.

Ms. Graybehl D'Antony is a California Certified Family Law Specialist since 1995.  She was rated one of the top Family Law attorneys in Orange County by Martindale-Hubbell.  She was also hailed by the National Association of Professional Women as having “Outstanding Excellence and Dedication to her Profession.”  One of Ms. Graybehl D’Antony’s more notable cases includes a $360,000 damages award for a client bringing a battery case against her ex-husband who infected her with a sexually transmitted disease.  In another case, Ms. Graybehl D’Antony was granted a nonsuit in favor of her client, ITT Cannon, in a wrongful termination case.

Ms. Graybehl D’Antony served as a Board Member for the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists for 2 years.  She also served as President of IALOC in 2011 and again in 2012.  Additionally, she is has been a proud IALOC Board Member since 2006. 

Ms. Graybehl D’Antony is an avid runner and has completed over 14 marathons and 4 half marathons.  To relax and recuperate from the stress of her profession, she and her husband Joseph D’Antony travel to their home in the Abruzzo region of Italy.  There, they enjoy a slower pace of life along the peaceful Adriatic coastline. 

 

Joan Mountain, Board Member At Large

Joan attended the Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York, earning a B.A. in English Literature, summa cum laude, with a minor in Business Administration in 2008.  She then attended Pepperdine University School of Law on scholarship and received her J.D. in 2011.  While at Pepperdine, Joan clerked at the Public Defender's Office in New York City and a boutique personal injury law firm. She was also an active member of the Criminal Law Society, earned a CALI Award for her work in Law and Ethics, and was one of the top student fundraisers for the university.  After passing both the New York and New Jersey bar examinations, Joan relocated back to Southern California to pursue a career in legal academia becoming the Recruiting Coordinator for Career Development at Pepperdine Law before joining the staff at Chapman's Fowler School of Law in 2012.  She currently serves as the career counselor for all third-year law students and alumni. 

In addition to being a board member of IALOC, Joan is a member of the OCBA, the Orange County Area Legal Recruitment Association (OCALRA), and National Association of Legal Placement (NALP).

 

Mike Santoni, Board Member At Large

Back in 1975 when he finished college, Mike Santoni knew that he was going to be a detective. After realizing he didn’t want to go into the public sector, he became an apprentice as a private investigator. Ever since, he has used his analytic mind to crack case after case. After over 40 years experience, there are few cases that can stump him. He is a mentor to his colleagues and plays an instrumental role in the planning of execution of cases at Santoni Investigations.

Mike is a committed member of the IALOC and is proud to join its Board.


 

Michael L. D'Angelo, Board Member At Large

Mr. D'Angelo has been practicing eminent domain law for over 20 years and has a long track record of achieving favorable results for his clients.  He represents Southern California business owners in nearly every industry in condemnation and inverse condemnation matters as well as defending his clients' position and negotiating with government agencies. 

In his general litigation practice, Mr. D'Angelo represents Southern California business owners in disputes involving breach of contracts, partnership disputes, and the purchase and sale of businesses.  he also has settled cases out of court, and through arbitration and mediation.

Mr. D'Angelo is a long-time member of the IALOC and is proud to join its Board.

 


The Italian American Lawyers of Orange County
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