About

Attorney Profile

I specialize in providing legal consultancy services associated with space law and have authored numerous papers and have delivered presentations at various conferences on issues relating to space law and policy. I am admitted to practice in New York, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and am a member of the ABA’s Science and Technology Section where I currently serve as Co-Chair of the Space Law Committee and Co Vice-Chair of the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Committee.

I commenced my legal career as a commercial transactional attorney and, due in part, to my representation of Asian gaming interests in the Mariana Islands, transitioned into a well-seasoned litigator with extensive advocacy experience in the United States federal and territorial legal systems at the appellate, trial, and administrative levels.

After more than 25 years in private practice, I decided to pursue a long-harbored interest in space law. Accordingly, I returned to school full time and in 2013 earned a LL.M in Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law, my second LL.M in the field of international law. Legal Parallax was formed for the engagement of legal consultancy services for legal and policy issues associated with commercial and exploration activities in and relating to outer space.

Education

A.B. Duke University,  Religion/Political Science, Durham, N.C. — May 1977

J.D. Syracuse University School of Law, Syracuse, N.Y. – May 1981

LL.M, International Legal Studies,
American University Washington College of Law, Washington, D.C. – May 1985

LL.M, Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law
University of Nebraska College of Law, Lincoln, NE – May 2013

FOREIGN STUDY

Summer 1979 – Eastern European Summer Law Program, Soviet Institute of Law and State, (USSR) and Warsaw University School of Law, (Poland), sponsored by American University Washington College of Law

Summer 1984 – Chinese American Summer Law Program, University of Beijing (Beijing) and Fudan University (Shanghai), sponsored by American University Washington College of Law

Papers/Presentations

Click here to see complete list.

Representative Litigation Matters

APPELLATE CASES

The below cases are a representative sample of judicial appeals I successfully handled in my private practice:

United States v. Li, 643 F.3d 1183 (9th Cir. 2011) – reversal of an alien’s conviction for attempted unlawful entry into the United States in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a)(1)

United States v. Montgomery, 462 F.3d 1067 (9th Cir.2006) – reversal and remand on sentencing issue in bank fraud and money laundering case

United States v. Babauta, 183 Fed.Appx. 664, 2006 WL 1627289 (9th Cir. 2006)(unpublished) – reversal of conviction for making false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of a federal agency in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands v. Bowie, 243 F.3d 1109 (9th Cir. 2001) – reversal of conviction for first degree homicide, kidnapping, robbery and lesser included offenses

Gorromeo v. Zachres, 15 Fed.Appx. 555, 2001 WL 884711 (9th Cir, 2001)(unpublished) – affirmed denial of qualified immunity in an alien’s claim under 42 U.S.C.§ 1983 for unlawful search and seizure for immigration purposes

United States v. Du Bo, 186 F.3d 1177 (9th Cir. 1999) – reversal of conviction for Hobbs Act extortion in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a).

Magana v. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, 107 F.3d 1436 (9th Cir. 1997) – reversal of order dismissing employee’s discrimination claim against governmental agency alleging violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981

Tan v. Younis Art Studio, Inc., 2007 MP 11, 2007 WL 1598179 (NMI 2007) – affirmed summary judgment in favor of newspaper publisher in case asserting common law libel claims

Guerrero v. Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino, 2006 MP 26 (NMI 2006) – affirmed jury defense verdict on common law tort claims arising from a forced removal from a casino’s premises

Oriental Crystal Holdings Ltd. v. Lone Star Casino Corp. (CNMI), 1997 MP 25, 1997 WL 33480923 (NMI 1997) – affirming entry of default judgment in casino investment dispute.

TRIAL COURT CASES

The below cases are a representative sample of criminal and civil cases I successfully handled as defense counsel in which the jury returned a defense verdict on all counts of the accusatory instrument or civil complaint presented to it:

United States v. Le, United States District Court for the N.M.I., Cr #03-00001 – Hobbs Act conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a), Hobbs Act armed robbery of a non FDIC Bank in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a) and using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924( c)(1)(A)(iii)

Pariyar v. Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investments, Ltd., dba Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino, United States District Court for the N.M.I., CV # 08-00026 — Title VII allegations (42 U.S.C. § 2000e) against a casino employer — appeal dismissed

Limbu et al v. Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investments, Ltd.,dba Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino, United States District Court for the N.M.I., CV # 01-0050 — FLSA overtime allegations (29 U.S.C. § 207) against a casino employer — no appeal taken

Guerrero v. Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investments Ltd., dba Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino, Superior Court for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, CV # 98-1303 – common law tort claims arising from forced removal from a casino’s premises — affirmed on appeal

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands v. Chong, Superior Court for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, TC # 99-5535 — vehicular homicide charge which turned on mitochondrial DNA

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands v. Camacho, Superior Court for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, CR # 95-114 – first degree homicide charge and lesser included offenses

Career Path

Managing Member — Legal Parallax, LLC, — Oct. 2013 – present

Solo Practitioner — Saipan, CNMI — June, 1998 – Present; Jan. 1992 – June 1994

Partner — Long & Brown, Saipan, CNMI — June 1994 – June 1998

Associate — Fitzgerald Law Office, Saipan, CNMI — April 1990 – Dec. 1991

Associate — Klemm, Blair, Sterling, & Johnson, Guam, — Aug. 1986 – Jan. 1990

Law Clerk — The Honorable Janet Healy Weeks, Superior Court of Guam — July 1985 – July 1986

Contract Attorney— Overseas Private Investments Corporation, Washington, D.C. — 1985

Internship — Overseas Private Investments Corporation — 1984-1985

Professional Activities

  • Member, International Institute of Space Law
  • Member, American Bar Association, 1994 -present
    • Chair, Space Law Committee, Science and Technology Section, 2023-present
    • Co Vice-Chair, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Committee, Science and Technology Section, 2022-present
  • Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2004 – present
  • American Society of International Law, 2011 – 2022
    • Member, Beyond National Jurisdiction Steering Committee, 2018-2020
    • Co-Chair, Space Law Committee, 2016 – 2018
    • Vice Chairperson, Space Law Interest Group (2015-2016)
  • 9th Circuit Appellate Lawyer Representative, Alternate (April 2009 – Oct 2011)
  • Chair, Northern Mariana Islands Lawyer Representative to the 9th Circuit (2001-2003)
  • Chair, CNMI Committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure (2001-2002)