IABA Introduces 4 New Members to the Board of Advisors

IABA Introduces Four New Board of Advisors

IABA is proud that Panteha Abdollahi, Robert Babayi, Hon. Susan Etezadi, and Nahal Iravani-Sani, have agreed to join the Board of Advisors.

To learn more about our new Board of Advisors members and other IABA Board of Advisors, please visit http://d3c.607.myftpupload.com/board-of-advisors

Panteha Abdollahi is a senior associate in the Litigation practice of Paul Hastings LLP.  Her practice focuses on complex business disputes and class actions, and she has significant experience in health care and antitrust litigation.  Ms. Abdollahi also has a background in appellate matters, having filed briefs and papers before the United States Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and California Court of Appeals.  In 2012, Ms. Abdollahi was selected for inclusion in the Southern California Super Lawyers list – Rising Stars Edition.

Prior to joining Paul Hastings LLP, Ms. Abdollahi served for two years as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Cormac J. Carney of the United States District Court, Central District of California.

Ms. Abdollahi received her Bachelor of Arts in History and Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) (summa cum laude) in 2000. She graduated with both College Honors and Psychology Departmental Highest Honors, and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society. Ms. Abdollahi received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law in 2003, where she was a recipient of the UCLA School of Law David Simon Scholarship.

Ms. Abdollahi has been involved with IABA since 2004.  She was one of the founders of the Orange County Chapter, and previously served on the IABA National Board of Directors (2009-2011) and as president of the Orange County chapter (2011-2012).  In addition to IABA, she has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Federal Bar Association, Orange County since 2008 and currently serves as its Secretary.


Robert Babayi, a Co-Founder of IABA and a partner at the Washington, D.C., office of Venable, LLP, an AM Law 100 general practice firms with attorneys practicing in corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property and regulatory and government affairs, among others

Robert Babayi’s primary practice focuses on client counseling, patent prosecution, licensing and litigation. More specifically, Robert Babayi counsels clients on the validity, enforceability and infringement of patents, and provides strategic advice on the relevance, strength and value of patents to commercial markets. He analyzes the risks associated with enforcing or defending patent portfolios, negotiates licensing terms and manages patent licensing programs.

Robert Babayi also helps startup companies in obtaining valuable patents for developed technologies and helps with venture funding at early stages.

Registered as an attorney before the US Patent and Trademark Office since 1989, Robert Babayi has prepared and prosecuted several hundred U.S. and foreign patents with emphasis on wired and wireless telecommunications, computing architecture, manufacturing processes and inventions related to the Internet and e-commerce. He has been involved in defensive and offensive aspects of complex patent litigations before the ITC and at the District Court level.

Robert Babayi previously served as in-house counsel at Motorola, Inc., and IBM Corp.  Currently, Robert Babayi serves as outside general counsel to a number of firm clients advising them on transactional and dispute resolution while managing their litigation needs.   Robert Babayi is admitted into the D.C. and Florida bars.

Robert Babayi is a co-founder of the Iranian American Bar Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to educate and address the legal needs of the Iranian American community and Nowruz Commission, a non-profit dedicated to preserving the tradition of Nowruz.


Hon. Susan Etezadi was elected to the San Mateo Superior Court bench on June 6, 2006, for a term commencing on January 8, 2007. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger subsequently appointed Judge Etezadi to the San Mateo Superior Court bench on August 11, 2006. Judge Etezadi was sworn in as a San Mateo Superior Court Judge on September 8, 2006. Judge Etezadi is the Presiding Juvenile Court Judge in San Mateo where she handles delinquency and dependency cases. Prior to this assignment she was the Criminal Presiding Judge in Redwood City from July 2009 through July 2010. Previous judicial assignments have also included Family Law and the Northern Court in South San Francisco. Judge Etezadi is a member of the Iranian-American Bar Association, the California Judges Association, and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom.  Prior to being elected and appointed to the bench, Judge Etezadi was a Deputy District Attorney for San Mateo County from December 1984 to September 2006. In this capacity, Judge Etezadi prosecuted career criminal cases, sexual assault cases, homicide cases, insurance fraud cases and environmental law violations. As a prosecutor, Judge Etezadi taught Criminal Procedure courses at the San Mateo Community College, trial advocacy at the National College of District Attorneys in Columbia, South Carolina and also taught throughout California for the California District Attorney’s Association. As a prosecutor, Judge Etezadi served on the boards of the San Mateo Legal Aid Society, California Women Lawyers and the San Mateo Bar Association, Women Lawyers’ Section.  Judge Etezadi teaches Principles and Procedures of the Criminal Justice System at San Mateo Community College and teaches Criminal Procedure at the San Francisco Law School.  Judge Etezadi is a judicial volunteer for High School Mock Trial, Citizens’ School (mock trial for grade school students) and East Palo Alto Youth Court. Judge Etezadi is a graduate of the University of California, Davis and the University Of San Diego School Of Law.


Nahal Iravani-Sani is a Deputy District Attorney in Santa Clara County, California. She has been a criminal prosecutor with the office since 1995 having been the sole lead trial attorney on a variety of felonies through all phases of the criminal justice system. Her assignments have included serving on the Domestic Violence, Burglary/Assault/Theft, Juvenile Wards, Narcotics, Consumer Fraud and Environmental Protection units. Her current practice area focuses on prosecuting both individual and corporate violators of environmental crimes.

Iravani-Sani earned her B.A. in 1990 from the University of California, Irvine in Social Ecology, with an emphasis in Criminology and Legal Studies, and her J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1993. Since 2006, she has also served as “Lecturer in Law” at Santa Clara University School of Law in Trial Techniques.

As an immigrant to the United States at a young age, Iravani-Sani is passionate about her role as an ambassador of the Iranian-American community, and giving back to her adopted country. She has served in leadership positions on key nonprofit and professional community organizations, including the boards of Pars Equality Center, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) and the Iranian American Bar Association (IABA), including as its President in 2011-2012.

Iravani-Sani has been recognized by the San Francisco Minority Bar Coalition with a Unity Award for her work in promoting the cause of diversity in the legal profession. She is also the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by the Iranian American Bar Association. Nahal lives in the Bay Area with her husband, attorney Barmak Sani, and their two sons.