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Jennifer Brooks Lawyer Of The Year Award

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2021-2022 Jennifer Brooks Lawyer of the Year

Marbi Burnette, Esq.

Jennifer Brooks Lawyer of the Year

Marbi was born and raised in a small rural town in North Carolina. Her family relocated to California after she graduated from high school. Marbi received her Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Fullerton and went on to receive her Juris Doctorate degree from Santa Clara University School of Law.

After graduating from law school Marbi worked in civil litigation for a few years. She quickly realized that civil law was not her cup of tea and began seeking other employment opportunities. In 1988 she landed in the Office of the District Attorney and remained there for 33 years. Marbi retired from the DA’s office in August 2021.

Like most Deputies District Attorney, Marbi had many different assignments while in the office. She was on both the misdemeanor and felony trial staffs. During her tenure with the office, she was assigned to the Narcotics Enforcement Division, the Domestic Violence Unit, and general prosecutions, as well as a three-year assignment in the Child Support Division. Her longest assignment after rotating between the San Bernardino, Rancho, Chino and Child Support divisions was the misdemeanor pretrial calendar in the Rancho division. Marbi was the senior pretrial deputy for over fifteen years in the Rancho division. In this assignment Marbi perfected her skills as a negotiator. Defense attorneys would wait in line just to have a seat at her table to negotiate their cases. Pro per defendants would often return to the courthouse to let Marbi know how well they were doing on probation or that they had enrolled in college or gotten their life together, married and had children. It was not unusual for judges and attorneys, both prosecutors and defense attorneys, to seek Marbi’s input for suggestions of fair and alternative resolutions on cases that were not even assigned to her.

Marbi was not just a strong negotiator, ensuring that the Office of the District Attorney was represented well, she embodied the definition of a prosecutor:  walking humbly and seeking justice. Marbi did not need a cape to make her a superhero. Her super- power was a ginormous heart filled with a strong desire to do the right thing every single day. She understood the power she held as a prosecutor and exercised great care to never misuse it. Although she was filled with a strong sense of right and wrong, she was equally filled with compassion, fairness, equity and justice for everyone in the criminal justice system. This alone made her a force to be reckoned with and caused her to be crowned the “Queen of Pretrials” in San Bernardino County.

Marbi and her husband are the proud parents of two children. Her daughter Marya is a third-year law student at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Her son Alexzander was recently graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration. He is also a certified personal trainer.

Marbi is currently enjoying retirement and looking forward to it being as rewarding as her years as a Deputy District Attorney. She hopes to travel, do lots of reading and crafting, and spend time with her family, especially her 85-year-old father and 83-year-old mother.

Watch online here!


SoheilaAzizi, Esq.

Jennifer Brooks Lawyer of the Year

Soheila Azizi opened her civil litigation practice in Rancho Cucamonga nearly three decades ago, later expanding it to include a conflict resolution non-profit entity: California Arbitration & Mediation Services (CAMS).

Ms. Azizi’s passion and advocacy for justice sparked at a young age when she escaped her birth land in the midst of Iranian Revolution in1979, devastated with religious persecutions and gross human right violations committed against her faith community. For the past 27 years, Ms. Azizi has dedicated her life to law and advocacy for her clients, and to social action for promoting peace, justice and equity in a compassionate and altruistic manner.

Ms. Azizi’s approach to bringing justice and equity for her clients begins with education and empowerment, and a loving partnership in a joint crusade for discovery of facts upon which reasonable expectations may be built. Walking with her clients as co-wayfarers of this journey every step of the way, Ms. Azizi educates her clients on realities of the process, and plausible interpretations and applications of the law. Through the process, the client is encouraged to engage in self-exploration, and positive transformation, which often results in a paradigm shift of attitudes. Once a defeated victim, the client becomes a mighty force in this pursuit of justice.

Ms. Azizi’s personal time is wholeheartedly dedicated to community building work and volunteer services as a mediator, an arbitrator, a temporary judge, an educator, a youth and women empowerment mentor, a T.V. Talk show co-host, or to building bridges towards oneness and engaging in multi-faith coalitions, offering free legal services to the voiceless and the abused, and occupied with variety of administrative services on many boards for non-profit public benefit organizations she has built or help found. Ms. Azizi has served on the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’i Faith in her local community, and has sponsored/co-sponsored many conferences, seminars and workshops on various aspects of justice in areas of human rights, race and gender equities.

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Bryan Reid, Esq.

Jennifer Brooks Lawyer of the Year

Bryan Reid is a partner in the San Bernardino office of Lewis Brisbois and vice-chair of the Long-Term Care & Elder Law Practice. Mr. Reid’s civil trial practice focuses on the defense of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare and long-term care professionals and organizations. He also has experience litigating cases in the field of sports and recreation liability having represented some of the most well-known names in professional sports. Mr. Reid graduated from the California State University Fullerton where he majored in Communications and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1988. Bryan Reid attended Southwestern University School of Law and obtained his Juris Doctorate in 1991. He was selected as one of the top 100 Civil Defense Litigators for Southern California by America’s Top 100 and is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He currently serves as President of CAL-ABOTA. He is a member on the Board of Trustees for the Inland Wellness Information Network, a board member of the Redlands Community Hospital Foundation and past president of the Redlands Sunrise Rotary. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers.

2019/2020 – Bryan Reid

2018/2019 – Michele Daly

2017/2018 – Byron Thompson

2016/2017 – William D. Shapiro

2015/2016 – Michael A. Scafiddi

2014/2015 – Gregory Rizio

2013/2014 – Gregory Bentley

2012/2013 – Hon. Stephen Larson (Ret.)

2011/2012 – Ricardo Echeverria

2010/2011 – Brian K. Brandt

2009/2010 – John Mannerino

2008/2009 – Jason Anderson

2007/2008 – Donald Haslam

2006/2007 – Michael J. Bidart

2005/2006 – Grover Porter

2004/2005 – Sissie Barker

2003/2004 – Charles Althouse