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Free Webinar: Journeys to Becoming an Administrative Law Judge
May 4 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Free event! Self-study credit available. For a PDF flyer of this event, click here.
The California Asian Pacific American Judges Association (CAPAJA), in partnership with California Lawyers Association, International Association of LGBTQ+ Judges, LGBT Judicial Officers of California, the Education Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA), Queen’s Bench Bar Association, and Charles Houston Bar Association, is pleased to invite you and your members to a FREE online program on May 4, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. This is the third in our series of informational panel discussions on the work of the Administrative Judiciary.
The program will cover the role of Administrative Law Judges in the legal system, the wide variety of ALJ work in different agencies, the importance of diversifying the Administrative Judiciary, and the hiring process. We will be discussing the skills and attributes needed to be a successful ALJ by sharing the experiences of diverse judges from different state and federal agencies, with varied backgrounds and levels of experience. We will also be offering MCLE credit, including helpful practice tips for attorneys appearing at administrative hearings. Bring your questions for our panelists! One hour of MCLE credit will be available.
Note: The panelists and moderator are acting in their personal capacity. The views expressed are their own and do not represent the views of the California Department of Social Services, State of California, Social Security Administration, Department of Health and Human Services United States Government, San Francisco Rent Board, or the City and County of San Francisco. This program is approved for one hour of MCLE credit.
- Queen’s Bench Bar Association
- California Asian-Pacific American Judges Association
- Charles Houston Bar Association
- Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area
- International Association of LGBTQ+ Judges
Our current confirmed panelists are:
- Hon. Eleazar Aramburo, CA Department of Social Services, Sacramento Office
- Hon. Michael Cabotaje, Social Security Administration, San Rafael Office
- Hon. Demetrius Shelton, CA Department of Social Services, Oakland Office
- Hon. Mark Win, US Dept. of Health & Human Services
Moderated by: Hon. Dorothy Chou Proudfoot, San Francisco Rent Board
Note: The listed agencies of each panelist, including the moderator, are provided for identification only. Each panelist is participating in their personal capacity, and no statements made by the panelists reflect the official or unofficial position of any of the listed agencies.
Eli Aramburo was appointed as an Administrative Law Judge in 2009 with the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (CUIAB) and transferred to the Department of Social Services in 2014 where she is currently hearing appeals under the Affordable Care Act and Foster Care Licensing and Funding. A graduate of UC Berkeley and UCLA Law School, Eli practiced family law and juvenile law in the Bay Area. Eli’s passion is to serve and protect vulnerable children and adults to encourage personal responsibility and foster independence. The best part of working for the State of California is working to alleviate poverty during periods of crisis and having the opportunity to work with other committed colleagues.
Michael Cabotaje currently serves as the Hearing Office Chief ALJ for the Social Security Administration’s San Rafael, California Hearing Office. In this Federal government position, he leads an office of judges, attorneys, and support staff in hearing claims made under the Social Security Act, mainly involving claimant applications for disability insurance benefits and the Supplemental Security Income payments. He has been a federal ALJ since his appointment in October 2016.
Prior to this, Michael served as Deputy Chief Counsel for the San Francisco Region of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the General Counsel. As Deputy Chief Counsel, Michael managed federal attorneys and staff serving HHS agency clients, primarily the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Indian Health Service. His portfolio included administrative and Federal Court HHS program litigation, employment law, and civil rights.
Before becoming a Federal agency manager, Michael was an attorney for the Social Security Administration, Office of the General Counsel, where he practiced before the Federal district and appellate courts, the EEOC, and the MSPB. Prior to his federal service, Michael was a litigation associate at the Los Angeles and San Francisco offices of the law firm Buchalter Nemer.
Michael received his law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law in 1998 and his undergraduate degree from Columbia University in 1995. He is a member of the California bar. He lives in San Francisco with his partner, his two school-age children, and their dog.
The Honorable Demetrius Shelton is an Administrative Law Judge for the California Department of Social Services and prior to this served as Deputy City Attorney for the City of Oakland for over a decade. Judge Shelton, the 68th President of the National Bar Association (“NBA”), is also Past National General Counsel of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and a Past President of NBA affiliates the Charles Houston Bar Association and the California Association of Black Lawyers (“CABL”).
Judge Shelton is an appointee to the American Bar Association (“ABA”) Legal Opportunity Scholarship Committee which administers the ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund created to encourage racial and ethnic minorities to go to law school and to provide financial assistance. Judge Shelton also chaired the NBA’s 2020 Census Task Force and the NBA’s historic Election Protection Committee safeguarding the vote and leading to the election of America’s first Black president Barack Obama.
In 2005/2006, Shelton served as Vice President of the State Bar of California, the largest mandatory bar association in the country and the governing body that regulates the practice of law throughout the state of California. He has the distinction of having been elected to the Board of Governors in 2003 and in his victory became the first African American in the history of the State Bar of California to be elected to represent the 3rd District. During this time Shelton was also instrumental in establishing the State Bar’s historic “Pipeline Task Force” and first ever Judicial Summit on Diversity.
Judge Shelton has a long history of leadership and service to the legal community and community at large and, in addition to those mentioned above, has served on a number of boards and committees, including the Alameda County Bar Association, the Bar Association of San Francisco, the Allen E. Broussard Scholarship Foundation, the San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation (now “Bay Area Legal Aid”), and Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.
Prior to joining the bar, while studying law at the University of California, Davis School of Law (King Hall), he served as Chapter President and Associate Director for the Western Region of the National Black Law Student’s Association, and provided free legal services through the law school’s Family Law and Immigration Law clinics. Shelton has also served with great pride on King Hall’s Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Shelton is frequently called upon by local, legal and national media and organizations to provide commentary. Shelton provided testimony as a featured panelist at the American Bar Association’s “Stand Your Ground Hearings” as shown on C-Span, and provides commentary on youth interactions with law enforcement officials and cases involving allegations of police officers use of excessive force.
Judge Shelton is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including the City of Oakland’s “Juneteenth Legacy Award”, the “Jefferson Award” sponsored by CBS and KPIX News, the Oral Lee Brown Foundation’s “Pioneer Award”, the Oakland NAACP’s Centennial Anniversary honoree, the Judicial Council of the State Bar of California’s Bench-Bar Coalition “Bar Leader of the Year”, the Alameda County Bar Association’s “Distinguished Service Award”, the Charles Houston Bar Association’s “Clinton White Advocacy Award” and 2022 “Hall of Fame” inductee, “Attorney of the Year” by CABL, and named one of the “101+ Men Making a Difference in Our Community” by Black Expo. Ltd.” In the 50th Anniversary Issue of Ebony magazine in 1995 he was prophetically recognized as one of the “Thirty Leaders of the Future” for his many contributions to the community.
Judge Shelton’s leadership has also been recognized by many local and national leaders, including May 6, 2006 being declared “Demetrius Shelton Day” in the cities of Oakland by Mayor Jerry Brown and San Francisco by Mayor Gavin Newsom, and eight years prior the City of Oakland proclaiming November 5, 1998, “Demetrius D. Shelton Day in the City of Oakland” and the City of San Francisco and then Mayor Willie Brown passing a resolution honoring him “for his courage, and outstanding leadership.”
Shelton has also been recognized by the National Bar Association with its “Presidential Award” on six occasions, the Charles Houston Bar Association with its “President’s Award”, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, the Hon. Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, United States Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Don Perata – President pro Temporate of the Senate of the State of California, California Assembly Member Sandre Swanson, the Hon. John Chiang – Chair of the California State Board of Equalization, the Office of the San Francisco City Attorney, and the Office of the Oakland City Attorney for his continuous efforts.
As President of the NBA, Shelton worked to build a “pipeline to the legal profession” and to dismantle what has become known as the “school-to-prison pipeline.” Toward this end, he published, “How the Law Treats You Differently When You Turn 18” aimed at educating the youth of America as to their rights and responsibilities under the law upon reaching the age of majority. The publication continues to be presented nationwide via “Youth Empowerment Symposiums” which have a dual purpose of introducing the youth participants to the practice of law as a possible career choice.
Shelton has also spearheaded efforts: 1) to safeguard the vote during the historic 2008 United States presidential election; 2) opposing the split of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; and 3) calling for a thorough investigation into Hurricane Katrina and other disaster relief efforts, and mobilizing attorneys throughout the nation to assist in these endeavors and in the recovery.
Shelton was born in Bernice, Louisiana and is a long-time resident of Berkeley, California. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, a certificate in Public Policy/Administration from the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Public Policy as an Alfred P. Sloan (Ford) Foundation Fellow, and his Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Davis School of Law (King Hall).
Dorothy Chou Proudfoot
Dorothy Chou Proudfoot is an Administrative Law Judge at the San Francisco Rent Board, presiding over arbitration hearings in residential rent control cases and mediating landlord-tenant disputes.
She earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. She practiced civil litigation at Heller Ehrman LLP before spending sixteen years as a Marin County Deputy District Attorney. From 2008-2009, she was also cross-designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, prosecuting federal offenses in the Northern District of California.
She is a Past President and current Membership Chair of the Earl Warren American Inn of Court and Co-Chair of the Administrative Law Judges Committee of the California Asian Pacific American Judges Association. A sustaining member of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, she also serves on the Board of the AABA Law Foundation.
She previously served on the Administrative Judiciary, Bylaws, Judicial Independence, and LGBTQ Committees of the National Association of Women Judges. She was the first Asian-American President of the Marin County Bar Association, a Vice-President of Women Lawyers of Alameda County, a First Vice-President of Marin County Women Lawyers, and served on the Board of Governors of California Women Lawyers.
She is the recipient of the Alameda County Bar Association’s 2023 Distinguished Service Award for a Judicial Officer. She is a two-time recipient of the Minority Bar Coalition Unity Award, receiving the honor for her work with Marin County Women Lawyers and Women Lawyers of Alameda County.
She has taught Trial Advocacy in the Intensive Advocacy Program at the University of San Francisco School of Law, the Women in Trial Initiative of the Bar Association of San Francisco, and the inaugural Trial Practicum of the Contra Costa County Bar Association. She has been a panelist and moderator for various educational programs on implicit bias. She serves as a volunteer mentor with the Race, Policy, and Law Academy at Oakland Technical High School, has coached, scored, and presided over various Mock Trial and Moot Court competitions for fourteen years, and has served on the Cal Band Alumni Association Council for over two decades.
Mark Win obtained a juris doctor from the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco, and began his legal career in the Social Security Administration’s Office of General Counsel in San Francisco, litigating matters related to the Social Security program in the federal district courts of California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii, and in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He also came to specialize in federal employment law, representing both the Social Security Administration and, from 2010 to 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs in employment law litigation. After his time with the VA, he returned to the Social Security Administration and ultimately began supervising the San Francisco office’s employment law division. He also assisted in the implementation of the Social Security Administration’s new harassment prevention program, training cohorts of investigators in week-long sessions at the agency’s headquarters in Baltimore, MD. He took a position as a Supervisory Administrative Law Judge in the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA) in 2016.