Our Team

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Sarah Summerall

Managing Attorney

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Jihyun Kim

Attorney

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Trinity Friedrich-Ruiz

Client Relationship Manager

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Kelly Wessels

Managing Attorney

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Brandon Church

Law Clerk

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Sam Howard

Law Clerk

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Albert Wu

Attorney

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Renee Landingham

Accounting Manager

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Mary Miramontes

Billing Specialist

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Julia Richter

Attorney

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Kameela Hall

Administrative Manager

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Che Ortiga

Notary Manager

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Norell Manning

Attorney

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Kate Bartles

Client Relationship Manager

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"Capi" Schnuggles

Office Greeter

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Sarah Summerall

Managing Attorney, Firm Founder, Sister of Kelly

Sarah started this law firm in 2008 because she wanted to help people use the law to make their loved ones’ lives better, even after they were gone. She believes each of her clients knows what is best for their family (biological or chosen) and enjoys helping them find the legal solution that makes that happen.   She is proud to have built a law firm that now helps hundreds of families in the Bay Area do just that every year. She is an Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Certified Specialist and leads Summerall Law’s Probate and Trust Administration and Litigation practices. To learn more about Sarah's Philosophy and personal approach, read her full bio here.​​

 

Kelly Wessels

Managing Attorney, Estate Plan Practice Leader, Brother of Sarah

Kelly has always loved the written word and solving problems. That’s why working in estate planning is such a great fit for him–he gets to use his precise legal writing and problem-solving skills to help people create the estate plan that is right for their family. Kelly has 15 years of experience as an attorney and working with LGBTQI families holds a special place in his heart. To learn more, read his full bio here.

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Albert Wu

Estate Planning Sr. Associate Attorney

Albert grew up in Stockton, CA then attended Cal (Go Bears!) where he was a double major in Business Administration at Haas and History and also was a member of the Cal Men's Lacrosse Team. Albert then attended Harvard Law School for his J.D.  His family is from East Asia, specifically, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, and mainland China.

 

Albert enjoys trust and estate planning because it allows him to help families and individuals navigate their important family and financial decisions.

 

Albert also enjoys tennis, soccer, basketball, reading, and playing piano, and regularly attend Quaker meetings in the East Bay.  He speaks Mandarin

 

Julia Richter

Estate Planning Associate Attorney

Julia is originally from Ukraine and went to Zaporozhye State University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in foreign languages and business management. She moved to the United States and obtained her law degree at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln College of Law. While in law school, she completed a Business Transactions program of concentrated studies, with a focus on courses in trusts and estate planning. After graduating, she worked with the Oakland Police Department in the Special Victims Unit and as a defensive tactics instructor. She speaks Russian and Ukranian.

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Norell S. Manning

Estate Planning Associate Attorney

Norell is a west coast transplant from New Jersey, but grew up splitting her time between New Jersey and Delaware. She moved to California in 2013 to attend law school.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Delaware and an MBA specializing in Project and Team Management from Full Sail University. She graduated Cum Laude from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, where she was an active member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution team and Vice President of the Business Law Society.

 

In 2019 and 2020, she was recognized by the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program for her volunteer legal work assisting victims of domestic violence. She enjoys volunteering with organizations that provide legal assistance to indigent and disenfranchised communities in her free time. When she is not working or volunteering, she enjoys baking – her favorite thing to bake is vegan lemon bars (trust her, they are delicious!) - and she will be starting violin lessons soon.

 
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Jihyun Kim

Estate Planning Associate Attorney

Ji grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and moved to the Bay Area to be closer to her family who relocated here.  She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she received her B.S. in Accountancy and her Masters in Accountancy with a specialization in Taxation, and attended New York University School of Law.  She got into estate planning because she enjoys helping people achieve peace of mind for their future and security for their loved ones. 

 

Ji loves spending time with her family and getting outside with her dog.  She enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the Bay Area food scene.

 
 
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Brandon Church

Law Clerk

Brandon grew up in Santa Rosa, California, where he worked in the manufacturing and service industries while studying at Santa Rosa Junior College.  He transferred from the SRJC to UCLA where he studied political science and philosophy.  After college, he returned north to his beloved San Francisco to complete his law degree at UC Hastings College of the Law.

 

Brandon finds satisfaction in using the law to provide closure and comfort to clients working through the probate process.  Some of his favorite pastimes include afternoon coffee with his wife and cat, weightlifting, and the occasional live music show.

Renee Landingham

Accounting Manager

Renee enjoys working with numbers and finds spreadsheets soothing.  As a CTEC Registered Tax Preparer, she helps clients solve their math problems and keeps all their accounts in balance. She has enjoyed calling the Bay Area home for many years, but is originally from Alabama and has a Bachelor's degree (summa cum laude) in Anthropology from UAB. In her free time, Renee enjoys gardening, hiking and camping, playing with her dog and live music. She reads constantly and loves baking.

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Kameela Hall

Administrative Manager of Client Relations and Special Projects

Kameela oversees the client experience to ensure a seamless and effective process. She enjoys meeting new clients, engaging with existing clients, and working alongside the attorneys to make sure the Summerall Law experience is a great one.  Kameela was born and raised in Oakland, California. She is completing her studies with Northern Arizona University's Honors College; majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management and Marketing. In her freetime Kameela enjoys taking hikes, going to see what is new in the movie theatres, and spending time with her family.

 

Kate Bartles
Client Relationship Manager & Executive Assistant

Kate received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona; majoring in Law and minoring in Creative Writing. She graduated cum laude and was involved in many organizations on campus such as student class council. Kate enjoys meeting with existing clients, and helping to create a welcoming environment for new clients. In her free-time, she loves to try new restaurants with friends and explore San Francisco. 

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Sam Howard

Paralegal

Sam helps with everything. While managing the estate of a loved one can be daunting, Sam enjoys doing what he can to make the process easier. He grew up in Gilroy and attended college at Chico State and has worked in nonprofits advocating for tenants and supporting SSDI appeals, in immigration law, and leading camping tours in the continental US. He loves travel (28 stated and 11 countries) and likes reading novels, playing in local volleyball leagues, and sampling the many great beers the East Bay has to offer.

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Trinity Friedrich-Rius
Client Relationship Manager

I enjoy working with new people and am a social butterfly. Estate planning brings me joy in how it can put someone’s mind at ease and help them focus on the more important things in life like family and fun.

 

I also like reading and painting in my free time :)

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Mary Miramontes

Billing Specialist

Mary enjoys handling all the billing issues (so clients don’t have to) and working with a team that is kind, helpful, and hardworking. 

 

She is from the Seattle area and has a bachelor’s in environmental studies from the University of Washington. Mary moved to California in 2018 after meeting her husband, and now they have 1 son together. She loves learning about native plants and is currently converting her lawn into a garden.

 

Che Ortiga

East Bay Notary Manager

Che is the go-to team member for the coordination of your Estate Plan signing. They are pleased to be your point of contact for any special requests, questions or concerns during that process.  Che holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education from The Evergreen State College and comes from a background in HR and customer service. They also conduct trainings for 'Raising the Bar', as a curriculum builder and facilitator. You can find Che spending their time writing music for their band, enjoying the outdoors, and growing a garden of food for his bunny. 

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Captain "Capi" Schnuggles
Official Office Greeter

Captain Schnuggles joined the team in January of 2018 at 8 weeks of age. He is available at the Oakland office to provide greeting services, play with bored children, and supply hugs and love to all. Please let us know if you have any allergies or pet-avoidance preferences and he can stay in the training room. If you would prefer to hold him during the session we can provide a clothing-protection blanket.

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